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Anfernee Simons Listed Among NBA 2022-23 Breakout Players

The Blazers guard might be up for a big season.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers-Media Day Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons has made Bleacher Report’s list of the Top 10 potential Breakout Players in the NBA this season. Zach Buckley of BR compiled the list, which is headed by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham and Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton. Simons finished sixth on the list, sandwiched between Devin Vassel of the San Antonio Spurs and Michael Porter, Jr. of the Denver Nuggets.

Of Simons, Buckley says:

Some might argue Anfernee Simons broke out last season when he set a slew of personal-bests, including 17.3 points, 3.9 assists and 3.1 three-pointers. I’d argue that notion sells his ceiling short.

He is 23 years old. He has made 35 starts at the NBA level, 30 of which came last season. To think we’ve seen anything near his peak is ridiculous, and he’d be the first to tell you.

“I want to be an All-Star,” Simons told reporters at media day. “That’s one of my personal goals.”

Simons has the electrifying talent to make that happen. He’s a former Slam Dunk Contest champ who’s also a 39.2 percent career three-point shooter (41.3 percent over the past two seasons). He’s also looking at increased opportunities as CJ McCollum’s replacement and potentially even more efficient shooting lines now that he’ll be able to play off of a healthy Damian Lillard.

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz and Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets also finished in the Top 5.