Grading the Trail Blazers 2018 draft
Blazers add Simons and Trent Jr.
On Thursday night the Blazers took a gamble by adding two teenagers to the roster.
The team drafted Anfernee Simons with the 24th pick, and later pulled off a trade with the Kings to acquire Gary Trent Jr.
While some loved the moves, others didn't. Here is what the national media is saying about the Trail Blazers 2018 draft...
"As if the Trail Blazers' backcourt needed more firepower, the addition of Gary Trent Jr. gives them a bench weapon to deploy as a 3-point assassin immediately. Portland was already on track for a great grade after taking Anfernee Simons, a raw high school-aged talent, at 24th overall."
"...if you're going to ignore roster composition altogether, can you do it for prospects this volatile? Simons needs serious seasoning, and there's no guarantee he'll figure things out. Trent offers little outside of spacing, which McCollum and Lillard already supply.
With athletic bigs, floor-stretching bigs and three-and-D wings all on the board when the Blazers made their first pick, this was a curious direction to take."
"Anfernee Simons is an enigma in that he didn’t play college basketball after de-committing from scandal-marred Louisville. A great athlete who can shoot a little bit and get to the bucket, Simons is a three-year project who can develop behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. In the second round, Portland got a fine wing in Duke’s Gary Trent Jr., a burly scorer who understands how to use his frame and get to his spots."
"Forget the international players. Simons is the real mystery man in this year’s draft. He declared for the draft after his fifth year of high school, and he didn’t compete in any of the all-star games against the top players in next year’s freshman class. Simons, an athletic combo guard with a projectable outside shot, certainly has talent, but he seems all but certain to spend the next few seasons in the G League."
"The Blazers don’t necessarily need more youth, and they spent a chunk of draft night trying to find a veteran wing who could help the team in the short term.
Instead, when nothing came about on the trade front, they took point guard Anfernee Simons with the 24th pick and acquired second-rounder Gary Trent Jr., two players whose combined age is still younger than or equal to seven current NBA players."
"While Simons is certainly talented and is a worthwhile stash for the Trail Blazers, this pick comes as a surprise and perhaps an attempt to preserve roster flexibility given that Portland’s cap situation is so tight. He will be a long-term project and needs to spend time in the G League. Given that the Blazers have no G League affiliate, he will need to be sent to another team’s development program and be carefully placed into a situation that makes sense for him to gain seasoning. This could prove to be shrewd by the time Simons is 23, but also may wind up as an unnecessary risk given the others on the board. "