According to reports, the Toronto Raptors have traded Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr and Rodney Hood.
The Raptors are making significant changes to their roster and Powell has found himself dealt at the NBA trade deadline after spending his entire professional career north of the border.
After emerging as a top offensive player for the Raptors over the past two seasons, Powell was expected to execute his player option this summer and seek a big pay day in free agency, something that Toronto could not afford to compete with.
With today being the last chance to make a trade this season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Raptors have sent Powell to the Trail Blazers, receiving flexible guard/forwards Gary Trent Jr and Rodney Hood in return.
The 28-year-old Hood is a seven-year veteran in the NBA and has averaged double-digit points per game for the majority of his career before slumping to a low 4.7 this season, making him expendable to Portland.
The 23rd overall pick in the 2014 Draft has one more year remaining on his contract and will carry a $10.85 million cap hit in 2021/22 before hitting unrestricted free agency. He will likely be a role player for the Raptors, bringing value if he is able to recapture his regular career production.
Arguably the bigger returning piece for the Raptors, however, is the 22-year-old Trent Jr, who is having a career year after being selected in the second round (37th overall) back in 2018.
He has grown in each of his three professional seasons and has averaged 15 points per game this year, with a career-high 2.2 average total rebounds and 1.4 assists, making him a truly promising long-term piece for the retooling Raptors.
He arrives as an impending restricted free agent with a current cap hit of $1,663,861, with his qualifying offer expected to be $2,122,822 according to Spotrac, though the intention from the Raptors organisation will more than likely see him locked up long term, and at a higher cap hit than his qualifying offer.
Losing Powell will be disappointing for fans of the Toronto Raptors, who saw him play a role in the team’s 2019 NBA Championship victory and subsequent development into a leading figure for the team.
However, landing a young player with plenty of potential and upside such as Trent Jr is a positive result for the organisation, who also add a fairly consistent veteran in Hood with the hopes that he can recapture his best form with his fourth NBA team.
The trade deadline continues, with the Toronto Raptors still to make a final decision on Kyle Lowry’s future with the team, so plenty more could be on the horizon after Powell’s departure.