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Blazers takes guard Anfernee Simons with 24th choice



Portland Trail Blazers has chosen IMG Academy Guard Anfernee Simons with the 24th choice of the NBA draft.

6-foot-4, 180-pound Simons did not play in college. He initially started to Louisville but after school fired coach Rick Pitino in October, Simons chose to attend the IMG Academy in Florida. Simons, who was 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 at college or abroad. Simons was entitled to the draft because he was 19 and one year removed from his high school. Blazer's roster had the youngest average age among the NBA teams last season.

Simons seems to fill a need because Portland sees this offseason for an extra shooter off the bench.

Blazers comes from a 49-33 season and was the Western Conference's No. 3 seed. They were swept in four games of New Orleans during the first round of the playoffs.

The Blazers do not have a second round. They sent it to Denver as part of a trade that landed downtown Jusuf Nurkic.


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