Portland Trail Blazers rookie Anfernee Simons is expected to be a work in progress during his inaugural NBA campaign. Selected 24th in the 2018 NBA Draft after eschewing NCAA basketball altogether, Simons’ best days forecast far into the future. According to Joe Freeman of the Oregonian, however, that future may not be quite so distant if Simons has anything to say about it.
In an article today, Freeman dubbed Portland’s rookie “fearless”, citing his long stints at the Blazers’ practice facility and his willingness to be aggressive when he gets on the floor.
Freeman quotes Simons after a 7 point, 3 rebound performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves, during which he got up plenty of shots:
“They obviously preach to me to be aggressive,” Simons said. “I wanted to come in there and not try to do too much, but once the opportunity was there, take the shot and just live with the results.”
Being ready is a constant refrain throughout the article, and Simons appears to have a grip on the concept:
“Even if you’re not playing,” Simons said, “you’ve got to know everybody’s tendencies, you’ve got to know each play at each point, just to try to help the team win at some point.”
Freeman has more on Simons’ preparation and outlook. How much it ultimately matters remains to be seen, but if you’re looking for the first signs of life for a speculative pick, spring has arrived.