NBA Rumors: Norman Powell Could Be 'Surprise' Target For Teams Ahead Of Trade Deadline

Norman Powell of the Toronto Raptors looks on during a game.
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox
Basketball

Shooting guard Norman Powell has been one of the brightest spots on a Toronto Raptors team that has struggled quite significantly in the 2020-21 season. With the team dealing with multiple injuries and posting a 17-24 record as of this writing, the 27-year-old has emerged as a legitimate scoring threat. 

Given how there are a few other Raptors players who have been mentioned in trade rumors ahead of the March 25 deadline, a recent report suggested that Powell might be targeted by opposing teams in the coming days.

Powell Draws Attention Of Rival Execs

As quoted by Bleacher Report, ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently revealed on SportsCenter that Powell's name has "really emerged" as a potential target for multiple league executives. This comes shortly after he scored a career-high 43 points in a game against the Detroit Pistons.

"About to be a free agent, the Raptors trying to decide what to do going forward this season and into the future, so Norman Powell could be a surprise name that could help a contender in a late deal this week."

Powell Is Enjoying Breakout Season

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell dunks the ball.
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

As shown on his Basketball-Reference page, Powell has spent his entire six-year NBA career with the Raptors. After spending most of his first four seasons as a reserve, he became a part-time starter in 2019-20, averaging 16 points and 3.7 rebounds while starting 26 out of 52 games.

Although he is still technically the first guard off the bench behind Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, Powell is currently averaging 19.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists and shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Raptors Could Be Sellers Before Trade Deadline

As pointed out by Bleacher Report, the Raptors are expected to be sellers in the lead-up to the trade deadline due to their recent losing streak, which has seen them drop seven straight games. Trading Powell will allow the club to receive something in return for him instead of risking the possibility of losing him as a free agent if he declines his player option for the 2021-22 campaign.

While the Raptors could potentially extend Powell’s contract, the publication cautioned that “money could be tight” with VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby’s long-term contracts eating into their salary-cap space.

Powell Isn't The Only Raptors Guard Who Could Be Traded

Prior to the new update on Powell, Lowry was the Raptors player who was mentioned most often in the rumor mill. The six-time All-Star, who turns 35 years old on the day of the trade deadline, has been linked to several teams, including his hometown Philadelphia 76ers.

One recent trade idea suggested that the Sixers could acquire Lowry in a three-way deal also involving the Minnesota Timberwolves. This transaction would allow the Raptors to acquire several players in return, including the Sixers' Danny Green and the Timberwolves' Jarrett Culver.