Should the Portland Trail Blazers build around Anfernee Simons?

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Should the Portland Trail Blazers build around Anfernee Simons?

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – NOVEMBER 29: Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers in action during a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on November 29, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Extended injury absences from Damian  Lillard and CJ McCollum have thrown the Portland Trail Blazers’ season off-balance. If there’s been one silver lining, it’s been the emergence of Anfernee Simons.

Simons has been on an absolute tear since being given major minutes and a starting spot in light of the injuries. This month alone, the guard is averaging 24.1 points per game, hitting 4.6 three-pointers a night.

In one game against the Atlanta Hawks, Simons had one of the more unexpected performances of the whole season, dropping 43 points on nine three-pointers. When at his best, Simons stacks up as one of the pure scorers with the most potential in the NBA.

Anfernee Simons is having a breakout season. Is it enough for the Portland Trail Blazers to invest in going forward?

The young guard’s recent run of play has come as the roster around him has been decimated by absences. It’s good to see him taking advantage of the opportunity, but the slow return of health to the team could put a limit on his explosive play.

So is Anfernee Simons’ run fool’s gold? Or do the Trail Blazers have something worth building around as a new era in franchise history approaches?

Portland does not have much time to answer those questions.

Simons is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The way he’s playing now, he’ll look to command a fairly high salary, which might force a trade of McCollum before the trade deadline comes in a couple of weeks.

Let’s make the case for and against building around Simons as a primary or secondary option.

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