NBA trade season is beginning to ramp up, and with that come rumors about multiple players and teams. The Portland Trail Blazers roster some names that have appeared in these rumors throughout the early part of the season, but those ideas primarily deal with Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant. In an article by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, he highlighted Anfernee Simons as a potential target for the Orlando Magic.
Buckley talked about the potential fit with Simons on the Magic, emphasizing Simons is still on the same timeline as Orlando’s young stars Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.
Why not try accelerating the rebuild with Anfernee Simons? He is young enough to grow with Orlando’s core but might have too much overlap to coexist with Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe in Portland. The Trail Blazers have barely started their post-Damian Lillard rebuild, and it might be easier to navigate without owing the 24-year-old Simons $77.7 million for this season and the next two.
The Blazers may not see Simons as expendable, per se, but he hardly feels untouchable. If he is up for grabs, the Magic might put a massive offer on the table. He is the high-volume perimeter shot-creator they desperately need, and his ability to play off the ball (43.6 catch-and-shoot three-point percentage on the league’s least productive passing offense) means he wouldn’t block the on-ball developmental paths of Banchero and Wagner.
For the Blazers to make this trade, it would mean fully committing to a backcourt core of Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe. The trade for the Magic would fill a position of need for them. However, it is difficult to see Portland parting with Simons. A trade would likely have to include multiple first-round picks, as well as a young asset like center Wendell Carter Jr. and a salary filler like Gary Harris.
Even with a return of multiple picks and an asset like Carter, the Blazers would need a major shift in ideology to entertain the idea of a Simons trade — one they may not be ready to make just yet. The Magic, being a young team, might be resistant to add draft picks to a package in hopes of adding other young pieces to their core, but that would be necessary to trade for a player of Simons’ skillset and ability.
Buckley talks about a couple other surprises that could happen at the deadline in his article, which you can read here.