The Portland Trail Blazers invested in Anfernee Simons with the No. 24 overall pick in the NBA Draft, a player who still has some growing to do physically to really have a shot at excelling in the league. When the selection came many didn’t know what to think of the IMG Academy product because there was little on him, as Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report details his hit-or-miss quality:
Heading into the draft, Simons was a virtual unknown, as he skipped college to spend a year training at Florida’s IMG Academy. He’s a talented but physically slight prospect who is two years away from being two years away. Simons could be the next Giannis Antetokounmpo, or he could be the next Bruno Caboclo.
Even with the mystery, NBA Summer League has provided at least a glimpse of his NBA future:
Thus far, the 6’4”, 183-pounder appears to be further along than expected. In three summer-league games, Simons showed the ability to get his shot off, along with surprising defensive awareness for a rookie.
Without a G League affiliate, Simons might be best suited staying with the Blazers this season, Highkin says:
Simons may have to spend his rookie season riding Portland’s bench and soaking up knowledge from his high-scoring backcourt teammates. Lillard is already pushing him to be assertive in his first games against professional competition.
Simons is averaging 12.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game at Summer League.