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2018DD

#24 – Anfernee Simons – Portland Trail Blazers

Matt John

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With the no. 24 pick in the NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected shooting guard Anfernee Simons from IMG Academy High School.

Simons measures in at 6-foot-3, weighing 183 pounds. Simmons is one of the bouncier athletes in this draft. When he beats his man, which happens much more often than not, Simmons can make some highlight reel dunks, which makes his potential as a player all the more intriguing.

Simons’ handle and agility should make him a reliable scoring spark off the bench should his athleticism translate to the NBA. His athleticism and crafty footwork could make him a tough force to stop if he earns minutes in Portland’s rotation. If Simons shows that he can play well on the NBA level, then the team won’t have to worry much about losing Shabazz Napier if he travels elsewhere this summer.

Better yet, Simons’ athleticism should make Portland optimistic about his potential defensively. He will need to show consistent effort and he will need to fill out more to get an NBA-caliber frame, but his natural athleticism could very well improve Portland’s already improved defense from this season.

Simons has the ability to become quite the electrifying player, but in order for him to become one, he has to perfect his craft as a scorer. Simons’ driving ability is already pretty solid, but he needs to improve his ability to shoot off the dribble. Since Portland has two of the league’s purest scorers in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Simons will have some solid mentors to learn from.

With his youth, Simons should not expect a big role right away with the Blazers. Since the team is focusing on the now, the pressure won’t be on Simons to develop, but if he does, then Portland has a steal on their hands.

Matt John is a staff writer for Basketball Insiders. He is currently a Utah resident, but a Massachusetts native.

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2018DD

Sources: 76ers Trade Khyri Thomas to Pistons

Basketball Insiders

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Philadelphia’s No. 38 overall pick Khyri Thomas will be traded to Detroit, league sources say.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2018DD

Sources: Kings Trade Gary Trent Jr. to Blazers

Basketball Insiders

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Gary Trent Jr. is headed to the Blazers in a trade, league source tells ESPN.

Portland will send Sacramento to two future second-round picks for Trent, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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2018DD

#30 – Omari Spellman – Atlanta Hawks

Lang Greene

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With the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks selected Omari Spellman from Villanova University. .

After 10 consecutive seasons reaching the playoffs, the Atlanta Hawks failed to win 25 contests in 2018. Gone are All-Stars Joe Johnson, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, all of whom the franchise groomed at various points during their decade of playoff bliss. Now the team is faced with a daunting rebuild under second year general manager Travis Schlenk and first year coach Lloyd Pierce.

Spellman was the third Villanova player selected in the first round of this year’s draft behind Mikal Bridges (No. 10 overall) and Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 overall). In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Spellman appeared in 40 contests and averaged 10.9 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Hawks continue to add shooting to their rebuilding roster. With the No. 3 overall pick, the team selected Luka Doncic, who will be traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the rights to No. 5 overall pick Trae Young. The team used the No. 19 overall selection to draft shooting guard Kevin Huerter from the University of Maryland. In Spellman, the Hawks acquire a big man that shot 43 percent from the collegiate three-point line last season.

In addition to Young and Huerter, Spellman will join a young Hawks core featuring point guard Dennis Schroder and forward John Collins, two of the team’s first round draft picks from prior years.

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