One of the most intriguing prospects that might be available to the Jazz at pick #21, Anfernee Simons was able to forego college and declare for the NBA draft. Simons is a young but has tantalizing potential with impressive athleticism, measurements and has already shown a good shooting stroke. But because he’s so young, much of his potential will have to be developed. Is he an upside player worth it for the Jazz to pick?
Potential 2018 NBA Draft prospect Anfernee Simons is an effortless athlete and smooth 3-level scorer who can get to his pull up at will. Tight handle, sharp footwork, soft touch on floaters. https://t.co/LD7TKkFHyj pic.twitter.com/cX5Bejk9Mh— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) November 18, 2017
N/A. Because Simons is skipping college we have to go off his numbers in High School, which obviously have to be taken with a grain of salt. But, as a Junior Simons averaged 23.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 steals. He shot 48% from the field.
Simons was also ranked in the top ten of his recruiting class and you can see why with his impressive numbers and smooth scoring and athleticism.
Simons oozes upside with his combination of skill and athleticism. At the draft combine he put up the third highest max vertical leap of 41.50. Simons also appears able to use that athleticism in positive ways on the court, too. He glides to different spots and is able to rise and shoot at will.
Simmons has a smooth stroke and shows impressive touch on his shot at the rim. He has a quick release and can pull up from anywhere on the court. This is particularly exciting because he also shows vision finding open cutters to the rim. Combine all his talent and he has the chance to be an impressive multi-tool player.
He’s young and raw. At this point it’s all potential and it’s hard to say what will happen with him once he’s on the court with NBA players. That’s why it will most likely take him time to grow into his 6’3” frame.
Though his jumper is smooth, he also sports a low release and it will be interesting to see how that translates against NBA size and athleticism. Will he be able to get it off or will he need to adjust?
Utah Jazz fit
Because the Jazz are drafting late, they might be comfortable taking a chance on a higher upside pick like Simons. Simons may also be comfortable in Utah since he’s already close to someone important on the team. According to Mike Schmitz:
Anfernee Simons and Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell are very close. I asked Mitchell about Simons after a Lakers preseason game in October: “He’s talented. He can score at all 3 levels. The main thing I talk to him about is just defense because scorers are easy to come by, scorers who play defense aren’t. I’ve been talking to him a bunch. I wish him the best of luck. He’s just a talented kid. Athletic. Knows where to be, knows the game, and I think that’s rare to find in a kid that age. He has a bright future.”
Likelihood of Jazz drafting them?
High. Considering the late pick in the draft, the Jazz can afford a high upside pick like Simons and allow him to develop with the team and ease him into the NBA without a lot of pressure. Utah’s development team has been so good with developing players, both old and young, it’s hard to imagine the Jazz not being excited about Simons future with Quin Snyder, and his team, developing him.