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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Grading the trade for the Trail Blazers

Despite being another guard, Black is a much better fit with Scoot and Sharpe. He's 6-foot-7 and more of a playmaker and connector than a scorer. He's not going to take away shots from Portland's other two guards; he would get them better ones.

His size and length are a major upgrade over Simons on the defensive end. One of Black's strengths as a prospect entering last summer's draft was his defensive activity, IQ and versatility. He's capable of guarding three positions and would allow head coach Chauncey Billups to deploy three-guard lineups that can mesh offensively without the drawback of being small like they are now with Simons.

The 2025 first-round pick has its pros and cons. Next year's draft class is loaded with potential stars, but a selection coming via Denver will likely land near the end of the first round.

This isn't the worst trade Portland can make, but if it's going to give up a player as valuable as Simons, a bigger return would be nice. Black and the 2025 first is a good start, but haggling to potentially get Orlando's pick instead of Denver's and adding another future first to the deal would make it much more worth the Blazers' while.

Trail Blazers trade grade: C