Grade the Trade: Trail Blazers ship out Anfernee Simons for young guard

This proposed trade involves the Trail Blazers moving on from star guard Anfernee Simons to build for the future.
Detroit Pistons v Portland Trail Blazers
Detroit Pistons v Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Bleacher Report's Dan Favale and Grant Hughes have released a list of mock trades for every NBA team not currently in the NBA Finals, which includes a few trades involving the Portland Trail Blazers. Many mock trades have the Blazers doing business with the Orlando Magic, but this one is particularly interesting:

Simons to Magic

Mock trade has Blazers swapping offense for defense

The idea of this trade is to move on from Simons, who some may see as a "black hole" on the court due to his high offensive output and low defensive ability. While Simons is not a standout defender, Anthony Black is likely not the solution to Portland's defensive woes, especially when giving up a player who carries so much of the offensive burden.

Black is only 20 years old, meaning the Trail Blazers would prefer to keep him a part of their young core if they made a trade for him. In his first season, Black saw the court in 69 games but was forced to fight for minutes in a crowded Orlando backcourt. He only averaged about 17 minutes per game, which is quite low for the No. 6 pick in last year's draft.

Grant Hughes' vision for this trade is for Black to come off the Blazers' bench to provide playmaking and defense, which were his strengths in his rookie season.

"This deal gives the Blazers a real change of pace, inserting Black—a defensively oriented, high-IQ facilitator with great size—into the mix."

Grant Hughes

Would Anthony Black fit in with Portland's young core?

We have seen multiple players with a similar archetype to Black be selected highly in the last few NBA Drafts, including Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels. These players were drafted because of their size, playmaking, and defensive potential, but scoring was a big question mark. Black wasn't able to show a lot of scoring promise in his rookie season. He did shoot 39 percent from three-point range this season, albeit on only 94 total attempts.

The Trail Blazers need shooting just as much as the Magic do. This season, Simons averaged 22.6 points per game while connecting on 38 percent of his three-point attempts. Trading him for someone like Black, who is so unproven offensively, seems like a massive swing. Additionally, the pick coming to Portland in the deal is from Denver, which will likely only end up in the No. 25-30 pick range.

While Anthony Black does have some upside, his fit is not as seamless next to Portland's other young players as it may seem. He may also have trouble finding his role on a team with up-and-coming guards trying to prove themselves. Instead, the Blazers should target two-way players to surround Scoot Henderson, who will be the team's primary playmaker for the foreseeable future.

Black's fit in Orlando may not be perfect, but Portland is not an ideal landing spot for him, either.

Trail Blazers trade grade: C