Grade the mock trade: East upstart pries Simons away from Blazers in massive shakeup

Would this package be enough to get Portland to part with its star guard?

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Trail Blazers trade Anfernee Simons to Magic for young players, pair of future first-round picks

Anfernee Simons Magic trade 1/5/24

As Buckley writes, Simons would "cost a fortune" for Orlando as a young, still-ascending proven scorer on a team-friendly contract. He's essentially the final piece for a Magic team that already has its superstar in Paolo Banchero and a versatile playmaking wing in Franz Wagner.

Orlando is fifth in the NBA in defensive rating this season but 20th in scoring. Simons would not only help offensively, but he would become an immediate starter in a backcourt that's been missing Markelle Fultz for most of the year.

Ant would balance the Magic's lineup, fill a significant need and become the third member of a trio of rising stars between the ages of 19 and 24. Acquiring Simons would be a home run for Orlando.

That type of player doesn't come without a heavy price, though.