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Anfernee Simons Showing “Positive Start” in Summer League

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Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated evaluates the 19-year-old guard’s Summer League so far.

2018 Hoophall Classic: Vermont Academy vs IMG Post Grad National David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers took mystery guard Anfernee Simons No. 24 overall in the NBA Draft, and the pick wasn’t liked by many. Questions about Simons’ competition at IMG Academy and his slender frame casted doubt on the guard. But so far in Summer League, Simons is getting off on the right foot, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated highlights:

The leap from prep school to Summer League is not an easy one, and many were curious to see how well Simons would acclimate against the best competition he’s seen in his life. The results were encouraging. While it’s obvious he has a lot of literal growth to do refining his body and simply maturing, he was far from lost from a mental standpoint and was impressive fighting on the ball defensively.

Simons was one of the more athletic guards in the draft, and the skill level should come along to where he can eventually contribute to a team. It was still a curious pick for Portland, given it doesn’t have its own G League affiliate, but ideally he’ll spend this season on a favorable flex assignment. He’s no lock to reach his potential, but consider Summer League a positive start.

Simons is averaging 10.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 21.3 minutes per game. Fellow rookie Gary Trent Jr. has also been praised for his Summer League showing thus far.