Blazers Rumors: Anfernee Simons Not Expected to Agree to New Contract Before Deadline

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 16, 2021

PORTLAND, OREGON - OCTOBER 04: Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers handles the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter during the preseason game at Moda Center on October 04, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. 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 Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers and guard Anfernee Simons are reportedly not expected to come to terms on a contract extension prior to Monday's deadline.

According to Jason Quick of The Athletic, the Blazers want to see a "larger, more consistent body of work" from Simons before making a long-term commitment.

Quick also noted that Simons believes he can drive up his value by playing under new Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups during the 2021-22 season.

The 22-year-old Simons will make $3.9 million in this, the final year of his rookie contract before becoming a free agent next offseason.

If the Blazers extend a $5.7 million qualifying offer, Simons will become a restricted free agent, meaning Portland will have the right to match any offer another team makes him.

The Blazers selected Simons with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft, and he has been a solid contributor off the bench since then.

After appearing in just 20 games as a rookie, Simons took on a much bigger role in 2019-20, playing in 70 games and averaging a career-high 20.7 minutes per game.

Simons also averaged a career-high 8.3 points per game to go along with 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 three-pointers made, while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from long range.

While Simons' minutes per game (17.3) and points per game (7.8) dropped last season, it can be argued that he was actually a more effective player.

Simons matched his rebounding and assist numbers from 2019-20, plus he made a career-high 1.9 trifectas per game, shot 41.9 percent from the floor and 42.6 percent from beyond the arc.

He gave the Blazers a great deal of value as a three-point gunner off the bench, and the hope is he can maintain that while expanding his game even more in 2021-22.

Simons will undoubtedly continue in a backup capacity behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but if he can improve his numbers and versatility, he stands to land a handsome contract from the Blazers or another team next offseason.


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