Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy (HS)
- Birthday: 6/8/1999
- Hometown: Altamonte Springs, FL
- Height: 6’3
- Weight: 185
- Wingspan: 6’7
- Standing reach: 8’2
The Milwaukee Bucks are a team known for drafting boom or bust prospects. Some of those players include Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker. Anfernee Simons will fall into that category when the 2018 NBA draft in New York City has concluded. Simons will turn 19 before the NBA draft and was also a fifth-year student at IMG academy, which meets the requirements to become eligible in the draft. A strange way to enter the draft yes, that’s why some questions arise as to how he will do against better competition. Going straight from High school level to NBA level is proven a hard task that special players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant excelled in.
Simons stats: (Under Amour Association)
- 3 PPG
- 43% FG%
- 41% 3FG%
- 1 REB
- 3 AST
- 1 steal
With the NBA draft just 25 short days away and the Bucks picking with the 17th overall pick, we will take a look at some strengths and weaknesses of Simons game along with his fit with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The biggest strength in Simons game, is his natural born athleticism allowing him to score from almost anywhere on the court whether it be blowing past the defense for an easy dunk or coming off a screen and sinking a contested three pointer. Bottom line is there are multiple ways for this man to get buckets. That is a huge factor in todays NBA where teams could very easily be putting up 120 points in a single night.
Simons can score all over the court consistently, proving that he can shoot very well from beyond the arc and can sink midrange shots with ease. The quick release and ability to shoot well of screens is a common strength with NBA stars like James Harden and Steph Curry who have mastered both of those techniques and have the ability to put up 40 points on any given night. I’m not comparing Simons to either of those two all stars but if Simons puts in the work like those two did, who knows what he can become at the next level. Despite his height at 6’3, he still managed to do some glass cleaning thanks to his athleticism. Simons has defensive potential because he is so quick and has a very lengthy wingspan for a combo guard. There has not been one solid comparison that writers are sticking to but I think the one that suites Simons best is Dennis Schroeder from the Atlanta Hawks based solely on how finely tuned their offensive game is.
There are a lot of questions that come to mind when evaluating Simons game. The most common one being is how will he play at the next level noting that he and Mitchell Robinson are the top names that didn’t play against solid NCAA competition. It’s rare that players excel coming straight out of high school but no one has earned the right to say Simons will bust at the NBA level. Only time will tell with this young man.
Simons body is still a long ways away from being an NBA ready combo guard. He is still only 18 years old when this was published and NBA trainers are very good at getting players to gain muscle mass to gain strength which every player must poses, mentally and physically.
If Simons plays the 1 at the next level, he would have to improve on his playmaking skills and setting up his teammates for easy buckets. In the NBPA he averaged 12 assists to 13 turnovers. Possessing a low release point with his shot, it might need to be tuned up so it wont get swatted by longer lengthier guards commonly found at the 2 position.
The scary thing with Simons is he can improve all of these weaknesses seeing that a lot of them can be learned with experience and the proper training. The other prospects in the draft have a few steps on Simons showing that some time in the G-League might be necessary for the evolution of the 7th ranked recruit according to 24/7 sports.
Fit with the Bucks:
On paper it looks like the deer are pretty stacked at the guard position holding the rights to Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Matthew Dellavadova, and borderline all-star Khris Middleton with Middleton recording close to zero minutes at shooting guard. It seems like a long shot the Bucks draft another guard distinguishing their need for a rebounding big man. But with newly signed head coach Mike Budenholzer taking the reigns it remains a question where this team will go in the draft with the no. 17 pick.
Simons seems like a project that will likely have to spend some time in the Bucks G-league affiliate the Wisconsin Herd being that he has not played against the competition that lottery picks Trae Young and Collin Sexton have competed against. Bledsoe is signed until the 2018-2019 season, while Dellavedova is signed to a large deal until the 2020 season, which the Bucks could be looking to move to free up cap space for a talented free agent. This makes sense and could give Simons the opportunity to be a crucial peace of the Bucks offense and the future of the Deer at the guard position.
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