The Toronto Raptors are in a rare position as a deadline seller, and a big chunk of the league has shown interest in Norman Powell.
The Toronto Raptors ended a nine-game losing streak Wednesday night, as Kyle Lowry may have played his last game for them. But one his teammates is a popular trade target too. Marc Stein of the New York Times has passed along an estimate of the numbers of teams interested in Norman Powell as “in the teens.”
Powell is averaging a career-high 19.6 points per game this season, on a career-best 43.9 percent from beyond the arc. After the step forward he took in 2019-20 (16.0 points per game, 20.2 points per-36 minutes), he has taken another step this year. He has been roughly a 40 percent 3-point shooter in each of the last three seasons, and he’s become a multi-faceted, multi-level scorer.
Does it make sense for the Raptors to trade Norman Powell?
Powell is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, with a $11.6 million player option for next year. He will surely decline that to seek more money/years on the open market. He’s likely to find it too, perhaps somewhere other than Toronto. So the Raptors, who could still push themselves into the play-in for a playoff spot (though it will be difficult if they trade Lowry), could separately acknowledge Powell is not in their future plans and move him at what could be a sell-high point.
Possible hyperbole aside, roughly half the league doesn’t seem scared off by the idea Powell could be a trade deadline rental. Acquiring his Bird Rights, and the ability to exceed the salary cap to keep him, is a factor there. In any case the Raptors are in a rare spot as a trade deadline seller, and Powell might be their most attractive (and gettable) trade chip.