Blazers news: Sharpe not just scoring, Grant injury update, Simons playing this week?

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Here's the latest Portland Trail Blazers news for Dec. 5, highlighted by a surprising update on star guard Anfernee Simons and including Shaedon Sharpe's complete game and Jerami Grant's unfortunate injury situation.

Shaedon Sharpe isn't just scoring

Shaedon Sharpe returned to his early-season scoring form in the Portland Trail Blazers' last two games, dropping 29 points in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and following it up with 25 in an overtime loss to the Utah Jazz. The Cavs win was the first time he's scored 20-plus points since he did so in four of the team's first six games this year.

It's easy to overlook, though, that Sharpe is bringing more than point production to the Blazers in his second NBA season.

He's second on the team in total points, sure. But he's also second in free-throw attempts by a wide margin (he's attempted 77, Malcolm Brogdon has attempted 54); second in rebounds behind only starting center Deandre Ayton; second in assists; and third in steals.

Even during a scoring "lull," the 20-year-old is finding other ways to impact games. Along with Brogdon and Jerami Grant, Sharpe has been the Blazers' best player in 2023-24.

Jerami Grant enters concussion protocol

Grant has been Portland's most consistently productive player this season, but the Trail Blazers may have to get by without him for now.

The 29-year-old exited the team's loss to the Jazz in the fourth quarter after being hit in the face by the back of Utah big man Omer Yurtseven’s head and is now in the NBA's concussion protocol.

“I feel bad for Jerami,” Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups said via The Oregonian/Oregon Live. “To get banged like that on a dude flopping. But anyway …headache. Not his best days ever. But he will be okay.”

Grant couldn't start any return-to-play testing until 24 hours after the injury, per NBA rules. As of Tuesday morning, it's unclear whether he'll play in Wednesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

Massive update on Anfernee Simons injury

Grant's status for Portland's game against Golden State is understandably questionable, but it appears Anfernee Simons may surprisingly end up with a similar injury designation.

The Trail Blazers' star guard hasn't played since the season-opening loss to the LA Clippers when he suffered a thumb injury that required surgery. Now, Simons is back at practice with an outside shot to play in one of Portland's two games this week.

Billups said he hopes Ant is ready to go Wednesday night against the Warriors, per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report (subscription required).

"Hopefully in the next few games," Billups said about Simons' return. "He looked good in practice. We'll see."

Getting Simons back would be a major boost to a Blazers team that's last in the league in scoring, 29th in field-goal percentage and 27th in 3-point percentage. Oh, and 24th in the league in the standings.

The 24-year-old guard averaged a career-high 21.1 points per game last season and was expected to step in as Portland's go-to option offensively following the departure of Damian Lillard.

It'll be interesting to see how Billups incorporates Simons back into the offense considering the leap Sharpe has taken, how well Brogdon has played and how Scoot Henderson has improved the past few games.


Soon - hopefully this week - we'll finally be able to get a real look at what the three-headed monster of Simons, Sharpe and Scoot will look like on an NBA floor.