Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons has thrived in the first quarter of the season.
Fresh off signing a 4-year, $100 million contract this offseason, Simons has entered the starting lineup and has played his best basketball to date.
In fact, he’s even earned All-Star consideration from ESPN writer Kirk Goldsberry.
In his fifth year in the NBA, Simons has leveled up. He is now averaging more than 23 points per game and has given Portland another versatile scorer next to Damian Lillard. With Lillard out Friday, Simons showed the world his All-Star credentials, pouring in 38 points on 25 shots at Madison Square Garden as the Blazers beat the Knicks in an overtime thriller. It was his finest game of the season, and if he has a few more like that in the next two months, he will be an All-Star this season.
Goldsberry named five potential first-time All-Stars and some honorable mentions. Simons appeared in the honorable mention category alongside Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks) and Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic).
Those who appeared in the main category were Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz) and Desmond Bane (Memphis Grizzlies).
While Simons isn’t in the primary group, he’s got a seat at the table and eyeballs watching him. With Damian Lillard out, Simons has the best chance to showcase his skills — and he’s doing just that.
BE community, do you think Simons can be an All-Star? If so, when? Chime off in the comments below.