New Details On Trail Blazers’ Bold Trade Plans Using 3rd Pick

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Portland Trail Blazers could make a blockbuster trade this summer involving combo guard Anfernee Simons and the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, the Blazers could package Simons and the third pick to acquire an “elite small forward.”

“Note that I said ‘the team at No. 3’ because of widespread speculation the Trail Blazers, who currently own the pick, will seek to trade out of the third position rather than select another young player,” Hollinger wrote.

“With Portland in ‘win it for Dame’ mode and the Blazers desperate for playable wings (even presuming they re-sign Jerami Grant), speculation is already widespread that a package of the third pick and Anfernee Simons might be used to snag an elite small forward.”

NBA DRAFT NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

The Blazers are under a lot of pressure to surround superstar point guard Damian Lillard with more talent. The future Hall of Famer has remained loyal to the franchise for so many years despite several stars around the NBA requesting trades.

Portland has missed the playoffs two years in a row after making the postseason eight consecutive years. Lillard, 32, appeared in only 58 games this season, averaging 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He signed a two-year, $121.8 million maximum veteran extension in July 2022.

NBA DRAFT NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Damian Lillard & Portland Trail Blazers Updates

The Blazers won just 33 games in 2022-23. It’s possible the team could get a star player for Simons and the third pick in this year’s draft. Simons is a talented scorer who has a lot of upside. He averaged 21.1 points this season while shooting 37.7% from beyond the arc. The Florida native is only 23 years old.

It will be fascinating to see what the Blazers do this summer. One thing is certain, though: Lillard needs more help to compete in the rugged Western Conference.

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