Anfernee Simons‘ recent play has justified former Blazers executive Neil Olshey’s faith in him, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Olshey maintained that Simons was the most talented player he had ever drafted, even though he had also selected Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin and CJ McCollum during his career. A late first-rounder in 2018, Simons has averaged 28.3 PPG and 8.2 APG in his last six games. Simons will be a restricted free agent this summer.
We have more from the Northwest Division:
- Thunder big man Derrick Favors shrugs off the trade rumors surrounding him, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman tweets. “I think every year I’ve been in the league, my name’s been in trade rumors … I’m pretty much used to it,” he said. “I don’t really pay attention to it. I try to control what I can control. I try to, like coach says, keep my feet grounded where I’m at.” Favors, who has appeared in 31 games with Oklahoma City this season, holds a $10.18MM player option on his contract for next season.
- Malik Beasley‘s subpar perimeter shooting is hampering the Timberwolves offense and making him more difficult to trade before next month’s deadline, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic opines. Beasley is averaging 12.3 PPG while shooting a career-low 37.3% from the field. Beasley is signed through the 2023/24 season, though the final year is a team option.
- On that same topic, the Timberwolves are in a tricky spot regarding the trade deadline, Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. They are in the playoff hunt, hovering around the .500 mark, and could be buyers if they want to enhance their chances of a postseason berth. They could just as well trade veterans such as Patrick Beverley for assets or simply stand pat and see if the current group can develop more chemistry.