Neil Olshey, Blazers looking to ‘empower’ Anfernee Simons
The Portland Trail Blazers front office has always been very high on Anfernee Simons. They selected the 6-foot-4 Florida native with the 24th pick in the 2018 Draft even though he did not play at one of the blue blood college schools.
Blazers general manager Neil Olshey is confident the decision will pay dividends. As he told NBC Sports Northwest, while Simons might be under the radar right now, it won’t be long before he rises as a true star in the league
“For me, he [Anfernee Simons] was the best player in the gym in Las Vegas, and I don’t even know if it was that close,” Olshey said. “We need to empower him. Our guys need to look and know we’re gonna play through bumps and bruises with him, the ebbs and flows, but that’s our guy.”
Simons played sparingly last year, appearing in only 20 games for the Blazers. In 7.1 minutes a game, the IMG Academy product averaged 3.8 points while shooting 44.4 percent from the field.
It’s clear Olshey expects the prospect to take a big leap in the 2019-20 season. Perhaps he can step into the role vacated by Seth Curry and become the backcourt scoring punch the Blazers need off the bench.