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Date Aug. 9th 07:49 AM Icon 18 Date 0

 

The Portland Trail Blazers acquired two guards during Thursday’s NBA draft [url=www.edmontonoilersteamshops.com]Ryan McLeod Oilers Jersey[/url] , landing IMG Academy’s Anfernee Simons and Duke’s Gary Trent Jr.

Simons was the 24th pick of the draft. Portland got Trent after acquiring the rights to the 37th pick by trading two future second-round picks to Sacramento.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Simons didn’t play in college. He initially committed to Louisville but after the school fired coach Rick Pitino in October, Simons opted to attend IMG Academy in Florida. Simons, who turned 19 this month, averaged 22.4 points and shot 45 percent last season.

Simons is the first player since 2005 to land in the draft without playing in college or overseas. Simons was eligible for the draft because he’s 19 and one year removed from his high school graduation. The Blazers’ roster had the youngest average age among NBA teams last season.

The Blazers twice brought Simons to Portland for workouts. Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said because Simons didn’t go through the rigors of a college season, they needed additional proof that he was worthy of a first-round selection.

”At that point in the draft we were looking for the guy with the highest ceiling. He has a really bright future. We know he’s going to work,” Olshey said. ”There’s some risk; not a guy with a big body of work. But that’s not our job to play it safe.”

Olshey, who sees Simons as a combo guard [url=www.atlantabravesteamshop.com]Ronald Acuna Jr. Atlanta Braves Jersey[/url] , acknowledges the learning curve as rookie will be steep.

”He may be a deer in the headlights for a little bit. But for Anfernee, he’ll get it,” Olshey said.

Of the Blazers’ two selections, Olshey believes the 6-6 Trent has the best chance of making an impact next season.

To acquire Trent, Portland sent a 2019 second-round pick and the 2021 pick it earlier obtained from Miami to Sacramento for the 37th selection. As a freshman at Duke, Trent shot 40.2 percent from 3-point range and averaged 14.5 points per game.

”We’re all looking for shooting, and this is a guy we think can step in right away,” Olshey said. ”I don’t think we feel the need to be as patient with Gary based on his body of work as we do with Anfernee.”

The Blazers also landed Trent’s father [url=www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com]Kalen Ballage Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Gary Sr., with a draft-day trade in 1995. Trent said playing for the same franchise as his father ”is surreal. It’s unexplainable.”

The Blazers are coming off a 49-33 season and were the Western Conference’s No. 3 seed. They were swept in four games by New Orleans during the first round of the playoffs.



Ndamukong Suh won’t become a New York Jet.

Acting owner Christopher Johnson said Sunday the team has rescinded its offer to the free agent defensive tackle.

Johnson was vague on reasons for the move, admitting though that it ”didn’t seem to be in keeping with our long-term plan.”

Suh has said the Jets made the largest offer, something Johnson couldn’t confirm. The owner said he discussed the offer with the former Lions and Dolphins player with general manager Mike Maccagnan ”and I think our thinking changed a bit. It was a pretty high offer; all these good guys will be a lot of money.”

New York has plenty of cap space to afford Suh, particularly after losing out in the bidding for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who chose Minnesota. But Johnson, in charge of the Jets while his brother, primary owner Woody Johnson [url=www.authenticsseattleseahawks.com]Sebastian Janikowski Color Rush Jersey[/url] , serves as ambassador to the United Kingdom, indicated the team is comfortable having the room to afford big-ticket players next year.

Johnson was not part of the process when Maccagnan made the original offer to Suh.

”Saying I stepped in is somewhat overstating the case,” Johnson said. ”Looking into what our plan is, it was apparent to the two of us that this didn’t work.”

The Jets have a need on the defensive line after releasing Muhammad Wilkerson, now with the Packers, and previously trading Sheldon Richardson. They own the third overall pick in next month’s draft, having traded up from the sixth spot, but Johnson indicated – while [url=www.officialavalanche.com]Authentic Sampo Ranta Jersey[/url] , he joked, trying to keep a ”poker face” – that the Jets will select a quarterback there.

Suh, 31, is a five-time Pro Bowler who was released by Miami at the start of free agency.

Suh was halfway through the $114 million, six-year deal he signed when he joined the Dolphins in 2015. Along with the incentive of creating $17 million in cap space this year, the move was widely seen as part of coach Adam Gase’s attempt to improve the locker room culture following a 6-10 season.

Suh’s standoffish personality raised questions about his leadership, and he has never been on a team that won a playoff game.

Johnson said there is no mandate on Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles to make the playoffs this season. The Jets were 5-11 in 2017 with an under-talented roster and actually had a shot at a .500 record until veteran quarterback Josh McCown broke his left hand in December.

”I think it’s counterproductive,” Johnson said. ”It can’t happen fast enough; I want this team to be deep in the p layoffs [url=www.authenticsdallascowboys.com]Michael Gallup Color Rush Jersey[/url] , the type of team that can go to the playoffs year after year. I don’t want to load up on people who can get you there, not keep you the[img]www.sndpic.com[/img]re.”



AP Sports Writer Steven Wine contributed to this report.



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