ANFERNEE SIMONS 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: NO COLLEGE/ IN HIGH SCHOOL
WEIGHT: 180 POUNDS
POSITION: POINT GUARD/SHOOTING GUARD
CLASS: HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR AT IMG ACADEMY IN FLORIDA
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: MID TO LATE 20’S IN FIRST ROUND (INDIVIDUAL WORKOUTS WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT)
In 2005, the NBA famously established what’s commonly referred to as the “one and done” rule: a requirement that prospects entering the forthcoming NBA draft must either be 19 years old, or have completed their freshman year of college.
So how is it that an 18-year old kid named Anfernee Simons, who never attended college, is eligible to be selected in the 2018 NBA Draft?
It’s quite simple, actually. The 6-3 point guard actually graduated from Edgewater High School in Orlando in 2017, meaning he’ll be one year removed from his high school graduation by the time the draft rolls around. And because he’ll turn 19 years old this June, right around the time of the NBA draft, he’ll have met the age restrictions as well.
Now that Simons has effectively found a way to “beat the system,” he could very well be picked in the first round of the draft.
Simons played for Montverde Academy for the 2015-16 season, which is the alma mater of NBA players and prospects like Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, and R.J. Barrett. While he languished on the bench there, the experience he gained practicing against that level of competition clearly served him well.
When he returned to Edgewater, Simons looked like a different player. He was named the Class 7A player of the year in Florida, after averaging 23.8 points per game; he followed that up with a big year on the AAU circuit as well.
Given his height (or lack thereof), and his primary instinct to score every time the ball is in his hands, Simons projects to be your classic combo guard in the NBA. He’s a capable shooter from nearly every level of the floor, while showing a strong handle and precise footwork. He simply knows how to put the ball in the hoop, no matter how he’s moving around. He has a beautiful floater off the drive, and can stop his drive and take the pull-up jumper as well.
With his overall athleticism, and his surprising ability to pull down rebounds, you see flashes of a two-guard in his game; hence, the combo guard designation.
However, Simons faces the same drawbacks and criticisms that other combo guards face. He still has to find the balance of having the ball in his hands, and learning when to score, and when to get his teammates involved, within the flow of a game. Because he’s more of a shoot-first guard, his shot selection can leave something to be desired, and his jump shot still needs a fair amount of polish to be ready for the pro level.
Another stigma he’ll have to fight is the idea of the classic scorer who loafs on the other end of the floor. Simons isn’t a player who naturally clogs the lane, to pile up steals or blocks. In fact, his overall effort on defense can sometimes leave more to be desired. Sure, he’s not the tallest guy in the world, and with his age, he’s still growing into his body. But, you’d like to see that part of his game develop.
But if a team approaches Simons with the mindset that he’s effectively a “high school to the pro’s” player who will require the same nurturing and patience afforded to similar players, he could be an incredible value to a team that picks him in the mid-to-late first round.