SB Nation Reacts: Should Trail Blazers Trade Anfernee Simons?
The Portland Trail Blazers have shown flashes of brilliance all season, despite being hampered by injuries to Damian Lillard and Gary Payton II. The addition of leading scorer Jerami Grant has given Rip City three viable 20+ point scorers. However, the Blazers still have some holes in their offense. Would rising star Anfernee Simons address those issues or put Portland at the bottom of the standings?
The latest major trade catalyzed by the Trail Blazers front office sent beloved guard CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans for Josh Hart and a cast of players who are no longer part of the team. The acclaimed duo of Lillard and McCollum ran its course, and trading the Lehigh product created enough room for Simons to step up and Grant to come in and produce.
Impressively, Simons has answered the bell in 2022-23. In addition to shooting 38 percent from 3-point range and nearly 90 percent from the line, he’s been the hero in more than one second-half comeback this season. For much of the year, he was the most efficient left wing 3-point shooter.
As good as it has been, Portland as a team ranks 17th in defensive rating and has struggled to take care of the ball on the offensive end. They rank in the top seven in face value stats like steals (No. 25) and blocks (No. 24), and they struggle to force turnovers (No. 23).
Is it worth trading an apparent future all-star to improve the defense and potentially add length? Is it worth potentially diminishing an elite 3-point shooting team and breaking up a clutch-time cast that has proven to deliver to make up for deficiencies elsewhere? Let us know what you think in the poll above.
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