November 28, 2023

Restricted free agent Anfernee Simons will re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers on a four-year, $100 million contract, Agent Bill Duffy told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday. Simmons, 23, was the 24th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, coming off a breakout season.

In 2021-22, his fourth year with the Blazers, Simons averaged 17.3 points and 3.9 assists in 29.5 minutes and made 44.3% of his three-pointers. In his 30 starts, he averaged 22 points and 5.5 assists in 34.3 minutes, with a real shot percentage of 60.0 percent. He didn’t get any first place votes for Most Improved Player, but he was truly one of the most improved players in the league. His numbers weren’t just a product of getting more minutes; He took on a bigger offensive role than ever and became more Efficient than he used to be, despite being surrounded by sub-par talent.

When Portland traded CJ McCollum before the February trade deadline, she did so knowing Simons was waiting in the wings. This contract means that he and Damien Lillard will serve as Blazer’s backyard for the foreseeable future. At midnight, Lillard will be eligible to sign a two-year extension worth over $100 million, which is It is widely expected to do so.

It’s worth noting that Lillard and Simons didn’t start a single game together last season—by the time Portland offered McCollum’s deal, Lillard was already out for the year. However, this pairing works for the same reasons that Lillard-McCollum did: They complement each other offensively because they are off-ball threats, and Simons can turn on the second unit when Lillard goes off the bench.

If there’s a problem here, it’s that the Lillard-Simons coupling also comes with the same defensive limitations, at least for now. Portland should hope Simmons, who has a 6-foot-9 wingspan, will develop into an over-the-top defender. You should also hope to be able to surround Lillard and Simmons with great players, athletes, and variety. In this regard, Jerami Grant is a good start.

The Blazers swung in a big way when they drafted Shaedon Sharpe with pick number 7 last week. The next item on their agenda may be the re-signing of unrestricted free agent Josef Nurkic – earlier this week, Mark Stein reported The center is expected to reach an agreement with Portland shortly after the start of the free agency.

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