The Trail Blazers clearly believe that third-year guard Anfernee Simons is ready to fulfill a larger role in the upcoming 2020-21 season. Portland bolstered their depth across the board in free agency, but the reserve point guard slot was not addressed. The main cause for that omission on the offseason checklist: Simons’ development.
With that in mind, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tabbed Simons as the player to watch in the Blazers’ training camp. Marks cited Simons’ strong performance in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Playoffs during his assessment of Portland’s camp storylines.
The Trail Blazers improved their depth in the offseason, but there are still questions when it comes to Simons and his consistency in backing up Damian Lillard. His most efficient game of last season was in the Game 5 loss to the Lakers. After playing in only 42 minutes during the seeding games, Simons saw 27 minutes of action, totaling 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.
In the regular season, Simons appeared in 70 contests (four starts) and averaged 8.3 points per game.
Outside of his assessment of Simons, Marks delivered his depth chart projection for the Blazers. This is how Marks views Portland’s rotation:
PG: Damian Lillard | Anfernee Simons
SG: CJ McCollum | Gary Trent Jr. | CJ Elleby | Keljin Blevins (2-way)
SF: Rodney Hood | Derrick Jones Jr. | Nassir Little
PF: Robert Covington | Carmelo Anthony | Zach Collins
C: Jusuf Nurkic | Enes Kanter | Harry Giles
You can check out Marks’ league-wide analysis at ESPN+ (subscription required).