3 Teams that should call Trail Blazers about an Anfernee Simons trade

Ant would fetch a nice return for Portland.
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

This season was supposed to be a breakout year for Anfernee Simons. It was his time to step into the featured offensive role left behind by Damian Lillard. He had played next to and learned from Dame and was second behind the now-Milwaukee Bucks star in usage rate in 2022-23. This was his opportunity to become "the guy" for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Simons proved he could do it in spurts. He averaged career-highs in points, rebounds and assists. With Lillard gone, he needed to become a more consistent playmaker despite being more of a natural scorer, and he did. He also shot 38.5 percent from three on nearly nine attempts per game and hit 91.6 percent of his career-high 3.9 free-throw attempts.

But he dealt with multiple injuries, including thumb surgery that kept him out for the first six weeks of the season, and ended up playing in only 46 games. That could be a lingering issue for Simons, whose slight 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame may not be conducive to playing heavy minutes in a high-usage role.

Despite being only 24 years old, Ant already has 334 NBA games under his belt. What's his ultimate ceiling? How does that fit with Scoot Henderson, Shaedon Sharpe and the rest of the Blazers' rebuilding roster?

Simons will make $26 million next season and $28 million in '25-26 before he'll be due for an extension (and a raise). Sharpe will become a restricted free agent the following season and will likely sign a lucrative deal. It only makes sense for the Trail Blazers to shell out big money to two of their three guards.

During his end-of-season exit interview, Simons said in part, "...This is year 7 for me. Losing is not fun at all so I want to have an opportunity to show myself in the playoffs.” Sounds a little familiar.

Combine all this with the fact that Ant would fetch the largest return of any player on Portland's roster outside of Henderson and Sharpe and it makes sense for general manager Joe Cronin to explore possible trades, or at least listen to offers.

3 teams that should be asking the Blazers about a potential Anfernee Simons trade

Orlando Magic

The Simons-Orlando pairing made the most sense at the trade deadline and still makes the most sense in April. Cronin wasn't letting anyone go then, but that needs to change this offseason.

Trading Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, Matisse Thybulle or even Jerami Grant seems more logical, but the Trail Blazers can get the combination of draft picks and young players they desire if they send Simons the Magic, which finished the season 22nd in offensive rating and has scored 83 and 86 points in their two playoff losses to Cleveland, respectively.

A deal involving prospects such as Anthony Black and/or Jett Howard, younger veterans on fair contracts like Wendell Carter Jr. or Jalen Suggs and some combination of the nine first-round picks Orlando has between now and 2030 would make sense for both teams.

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets have a new head coach in Jordi Fernandez and high-level role players like Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dennis Schroder. They can re-sign center Nic Claxton this summer. But the big offseason debate surrounds the fate of pseudo-star Mikal Bridges.

Despite not being an established superstar, the franchise has treated Bridges like one. The Nets have turned down every trade offer made for Bridges since they acquired him in the Kevin Durant deal. Brooklyn is getting dangerously close to settling in as a middle-of-the-road team in the Eastern Conference, which isn't where you want to be.

If the Nets aren't going to trade Bridges, they need to upgrade the roster around him. That would mean re-signing Claxton and adding a guard, specifically a combo guard that can take on some of the scoring load and do a little playmaking on the side. Enter Simons.

Brooklyn has a massive expiring contract in Ben Simmons, young players such as Cam Thomas, Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead, and nine first-rounders available to send Portland's way.

San Antonio Spurs

Blazers fans should be thanking Victor Wembanyama. Despite San Antonio doing whatever it could to tank and finish with better odds of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, Wemby just wouldn't let it happen. Now it's on the Spurs to go out and find better players to put around their superstar big man this offseason, and that starts in the backcourt.

After a failed experiment to turn Jeremy Sochan into a point forward, San Antonio pivoted to Tre Jones to be its floor general, but the 24-year-old is a low-level starter at best who's better suited to play a reserve role.

Offseason goal No. 1 for the Spurs should be finding a guard who can play off of Wembanyama, which means one who's comfortable running the pick-and-roll, throwing lobs and spotting up at the 3-point line while possessing the scoring chops to take over an offense when he needs to. Simons would fit that bill.


San Antonio is loaded with draft picks after trading Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs have three this season, three next season and two more in each of 2026, 2027 and 2028. Cronin could surely build a deal with at least a few of those picks as the foundation.