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One of the best parts about NBA Media Day every single year is hearing from those that just earned themselves a new deal in the offseason.

This year, 23-year-old guard Anfernee Simons is one of those lucky players, as he put pen to paper on a new four-year, $100 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers after a breakout fourth season in the league.

Last season may not have gone how Portland had intended, as they finished with a 27-55 record, their least amount of wins since the 2005-06 season, but Simons really took his game to the next level after spending the first few years of his career maturing and learning from both CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard.

In 57 games during the 2021-22 season, Simons averaged career-highs in points per game (17.3), rebounds per game (2.6), assists per game (3.9), field goals made (353), three-pointers made (179) and minutes per game (29.5).

Now, preparing for the 2022-23 season, Anfernee Simons will stand next to Damian Lillard in the backcourt after the team dealt veteran CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans last season and Simons now has high expectations for himself heading into Year 5.

“Personally, I want to be an All-Star,” Simons told the media. “That’s one of my personal goals.”

After the season he just had and now the Blazers reloading with the additions of Jerami Grant and Gary Payton, as well as Damian Lillard, Josh Hart and Nassir Little all being healthy, Anfernee Simons definitely has a chance to build off of his success and become an All-Star-like talent in this league.

Simons received some consideration for Most Improved Player this past season and now, entering the 2022-23 season, he is a prime candidate to win the Most Improved Player award.

Portland is definitely a sneaky team out in the Western Conference heading into the new year, especially since the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers are getting all the attention right now.

The backcourt duo of Lillard and Simons is one of the better scoring “one-two punches” in the league right now and with the Blazers adding depth defensively, this is absolutely a team that has what it takes to get back to the playoffs.

The Trail Blazers will begin the 2022-23 season on October 19, as they travel to California to take on the Sacramento Kings, another team that added a lot of new talent in the offseason in search of getting to the playoffs.