Player No. 2: Anfernee Simons
Simons had his breakout season in 2022-23, even if it went largely unnoticed on a national level. He proved himself as a legitimate NBA scorer, averaging more than 20 points for the first time in his career on 45/38/89 shooting splits.
That 3-point percentage is even more impressive considering it came on 9.1 attempts per night.
There would be nights when Grant was feeling it and would play second fiddle to Dame, but for the majority of the season it was Simons who led the offense when Lillard either sat or missed time.
Scoot may be the new guy on the block and Sharpe may be getting most of the offseason hype, but it’s Ant who should be ready to prove himself as Portland’s go-to scorer whenever Lillard exits.
With a higher usage rate and shot volume Simons’ shooting percentages may take a bit of a drop, but his counting stats should take a leap, as should his standing in the league.
It’s time for the 24-year-old to push for an all-star berth and show he’s one of the better scorers in the NBA.