Grade the trade: Proposal has Magic landing high-scoring guard

Orlando trades for a lethal scorer on the perimeter in the latest proposed trade.
Wendell Carter Jr., Anfernee Simons
Wendell Carter Jr., Anfernee Simons / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

After a competitive seven-game series with the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs, it is clear that the Orlando Magic are here to stay. Led by the star power of Paolo Banchero, the Magic pushed Cleveland to the brink of elimination and showed several promising signs that they will remain a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the Eastern Conference.

With so much young talent in their locker room and plenty of evidence to show for their internal development, Orlando has to like where they are at. But complacency does not follow excitement in successful organizations, and they are undoubtedly looking for ways to keep building amidst the offseason after their breakout year.

Management will certainly be keeping their eyes and ears peeled for any ways they can level up this roster in the coming months. Of course, patience is almost always rewarded in the NBA. But in some scenarios, it can pay to be just a little bit bold and push the button on a move you are confident can reward you in the short-term.

In the latest imagined trade from Bleacher Report, the Magic acquire a young star in Anfernee Simons from the Portland Trail Blazers. In return, they send out Jett Howard, their 2027 first-round pick and 2029 first-rounder. This would absolutely qualify as one of those bold kind of moves, but it is also one that has potential to be a big help to Orlando.

ORL/POR Simons trade

Anfernee Simons could help the Magic level up

On the surface, this may look like a significant package for Orlando to give up. And with Jett Howard having just finished his rookie season and playing just 3.7 minutes per game, he can essentially be classified as a draft pick as well, being that we do not know much about what he will become yet. So with that in mind, this deal effectively becomes three first-rounders in exchange for Simons.

That is quite a haul for a non-All Star, but it could be worth it for the Magic. The spot in their starting lineup they could use an upgrade the most is undoubtedly the second guard spot next to Jalen Suggs, and Simons would have the potential to fit like a glove.

He may not have an All-Star selection on his resume, but it is clear when watching Anfernee that he is close to being in that echelon of player. He has slowly evolved into a three-level scorer after years of playing behind Damian Lillard, and he put up 22.6 points along with 5.5 assists per game this past season, acting as one of Portland's top scoring options.

Orlando of course has a strong defender on the perimeter in Suggs, so adding Simons would give them a reliable scoring option next to him. It really could be a great solution for the Magic as they look to accelerate their pursuit for a title.

Trading for an established player makes a good bit more sense than continuing to sift through draft picks for years on end, and certainly the Trail Blazers would appreciate taking on more assets as well. All things considered, this would make sense for both parties involved.

Grade: B+