Grade the Mock Trade: Blazers ship Anfernee Simons East for younger guard, 2025 first

Portland swaps point guards with the Orlando Magic.
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Anfernee Simons traded to Magic for Anthony Black, 2025 first-round pick in mock deal

Simons to Magic for Black, 2025 first 4/29/24

This is a pretty straightforward move for both sides.

Orlando's lack of offense from its backcourt has been its most significant bugaboo this season. That's shown up so far in the team's four playoff contests against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the first two games of the series, both losses, the Magic scored 83 and 86 points, respectively. Gary Harris started alongside Jalen Suggs in Game 1 and scored zero points on 0-of-6 shooting. Markelle Fultz played 13 minutes off the bench and also put up a goose egg.

It was Cole Anthony's turn to score zero points in Game 2. Jalen Suggs and Fultz combined for 10 points.

Games 3 and 4 flipped the script. Suggs had 24 points in a dominant Game 3 win while Fultz scored 11 points and Anthony 10. In another blowout victory in Game 4, Suggs and Fultz each finished with 12 points.

When the Magic's guards give Banchero and Wagner some offensive support, Orlando is more likely to win games. Hence the attractiveness of Simons, a proven NBA scorer and improving playmaker. He's the ideal tonic to what ails this Orlando team.

But is the return enough to make it worth the Blazers' time?