The controversial trade the Trail Blazers must consider making this summer

It could be the unexpected offseason move that makes the most sense for Rip City.

Joe Cronin (left), Portland Trail Blazers
Joe Cronin (left), Portland Trail Blazers / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Portland Trail Blazers have a slew of moves available to them this offseason as they continue to rebuild their roster. General manager Joe Cronin could potentially have two 2024 NBA Draft lottery picks at his disposal. Malcolm Brogdon is likely on his way out of Rip City via trade, either during this summer or at next year's trade deadline.

Other veterans such as Matisse Thybulle, Robert Williams III and Jerami Grant have trade value if Portland decides to cash in and add more future assets.

But it could be a far more shocking move that makes the most sense for the Blazers as they keep an eye toward the future.

The Trail Blazers should consider trading Anfernee Simons this offseason

Of all the veterans available for Cronin to deal, Simons seems the least likely and most controversial. The 24-year-old is finally getting the chance to prove he's a No. 1 scoring option and is having the best statistical season of his career. He's more valuable to Portland than the players listed above.

That also means he would fetch a larger return in any potential trade.

And it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows this year for Simons. He's dealt with injuries, only playing in 46 games. Yes, he's posting the best numbers of his career, but he's in his sixth NBA season, is still a minus on defense and still skews the Blazers' roster toward the small and unbalanced side.

Is there still room for Ant to get significantly better and lead Portland into its next wave of contention? Or could Cronin make a move like this to add more assets?

Simons to Magic offseason trade 4/3/24

If the Blazers and Magic consummate this deal, Orlando would head into next season with a trio of Simons, Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero. A combo guard like Ant is the type of player missing from the Magic's roster.

Portland, meanwhile, would get an unprotected pick in a loaded 2025 draft. There's a decent chance Orlando's selection falls somewhere in the 20s, but it's still a valuable asset to a rebuilding team like the Blazers. Carter Jr., who's on a team-friendly deal for two more seasons, could backup Deandre Ayton and give Portland a different look as a big man who's hitting 37.2 percent of his threes this year.

Howard was a 2023 lottery pick because of his shooting and size at 6-foot-8. He would get more minutes and opportunities with the Blazers than he has in Orlando.

Dealing away Simons would bring balance to Portland's roster. Starting Shaedon Sharpe in place of Ant would give the backcourt more size. Dalano Banton could get an increased role off the bench and the chance to prove he's more than just an empty scorer on a tanking team. Howard's size and shooting would give the Blazers a different look on the wing.


Would it be difficult to see Simons go? Of course. But is a deal like this worth considering this summer? Absolutely.