NBA Trade Rumors: 3 Anfernee Simons trades to keep Damian Lillard on Blazers

Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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NBA Trade Rumors: The Portland Trail Blazers may want to keep Damian Lillard. These Anfernee Simons trades would help them accomplish that.

It’s been nearly a month now since Damian Lillard first went public with his desire to be traded away from the Portland Trail Blazers, specifically to the 2023 Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat. This offseason was supposed to see Portland use some of the future assets they’ve accumulated in the past few years — like Anfernee Simons and the two first-round picks they had in this last draft — to trade for more veteran help around Dame and Jerami Grant.

Instead, General Manager Joe Cronin pivoted to a full-on youth movement instead, adding rookies Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray, and Rayan Rupert to a small, but promising, young core.

Dame understandably saw that his timeline no longer matched Portland’s new direction. Unfortunately for him, it appears that he’s no closer to Miami than he was when he requested the trade while on vacation in Paris. There’s been reportedly little progress in the negotiations, as Cronin has gone on record with his disinterest in the Heat’s potential trade package and his desire to prolong Lillard’s tenure with the Trail Blazers in order to land the best possible deal.

According to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, it’s rumored that Portland is hoping that Dame will warm up to his new situation with the Trail Blazers and decide to stay.

Maybe Scoot, Murray, and Shaedon Sharpe prove to be immediately positive contributors, and Lillard sees a path to title contention sooner than he initially anticipated. But instead of waiting with his fingers crossed, Joe Cronin could take matters into his own hands and try to convince Dame to stay.

Why the Portland Trail Blazers should trade Anfernee Simons in order to keep Damian Lillard

Whether or not Lillard is traded, the Blazers have a logjam on the roster that needs to be addressed. Currently, they have eight players on contract that qualify as guards: Dame, Simons, Sharpe, Scoot, Rupert, Matisse Thybulle, Keon Johnson, and Jeenathan Williams.

Perhaps it’s time for Cronin and the Trail Blazers to offload Anfernee Simons in order to bring in talent at positions of need. This could potentially help persuade Damian Lillard to give it another go with Portland, but it’s a necessary step for the future of the team regardless of the effect on the Dame saga.