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Blazers’ Anfernee Simons claims he became a ‘smarter player’ watching from the sidelines

Anfernee Simons, Blazers,

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons didn’t see much action in his rookie season. However, the 24th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft said he still had a productive year despite sitting on the bench for most games.

In an interview with Orlando Sentinel’s Stephen Ruiz, Simons said that he used his time on the sidelines watching and learning from his veteran teammates.

“A lot of learning. Just learning from different people, just becoming a better player and smarter player.’ [I] realized things just by watching. I became a smarter player from that,” the 20-year-old IGM product said.

Simons only appeared in 20 games for the Blazers, averaging 3.8 points in 7.0 minutes per contest. The Florida native never cracked Portland’s regular guard rotation, as he played behind guys like Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Seth Curry.

Still, Simons is optimistic that his time will come and that he will have an increased role with the Blazers, especially now that Curry has returned to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Blazers are once again going to contend for an NBA championship next season. A few months removed from being swept by the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, they are eager to show the rest of the league that they have what it takes to win it all.

Portland remains high on Simons. and it appears it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a key contributor for the Rip City squad.