Warriors and East contenders could be forced into bidding war for Norm Powell

Norman Powell free throw
Norman Powell could be dealt before Thursday's deadline. Photo from Raptors Rapture.

Heading for free agency, a Norman Powell trade is possible before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Powell is playing elite basketball. Over 43% from beyond, scoring just shy of 20 per game and getting to the line more than ever before, Powell will be a hot commodity if the Raptors make him available. An $11 million salary makes him a relatively easy player to trade for, too.

Norman Powell trade: Raptors asking price

The availability of Powell is likely tied to the future of Kyle Lowry. Lowry is at the center of NBA trade rumors at the moment. It’s unclear whether the All-Star point guard will be dealt, but if he is, it would make sense for the Raps to flip Powell’s expiring.

Toronto is not going to deal Powell for the sake of it. Raptors trade news has fluctuated in recent weeks, but this isn’t a senseless tear down. Masai Ujiri will not just trade Powell for the sake of it – he will surely be going into any negotiations expecting to get at least a first-round pick.

The upcoming free agency of Powell makes this an interesting situation. Teams will be wary of the mega contract he could receive after such a good season. Contenders already near or in the tax might not be keen to bring on Powell if they cannot extend him in the offseason.

Others, though, will be willing to part with assets to land Powell’s Bird Rights. He’s also potentially an impact player come the postseason, a talented spot-up shooter, a scorer, and defender who can survive in crunch time.

There’s no guarantee Powell will be traded. He might be a Raptor for years to come. If Toronto looks to deal him, though, here are a few teams who could be interested.


Possible landing spots

The Brooklyn Nets have been rumored as a Powell trade destination. This would likely be a deal built around Spencer Dinwiddie‘s expiring contract. Powell would be a Sixth Man for Brooklyn, and provide them with yet more scoring punch. The question, though, is whether the Raptors can get a better deal elsewhere. It’s not unreasonable to think they could, given the Nets’ inability to trade first round picks.

The ever-aggressive Daryl Morey could line-up a move for Powell. They might include Tyrese Maxey in a deal, or Morey might give up a future first. Crucially, the Sixers could add Powell without breaking up their starting five, something they can’t do for Lowry or Victor Oladipo. Mike Scott and Terrance Ferguson gets the salary covered.

Any Powell trade bidding could have a sway on the Eastern Conference battle. As such, the Celtics could get involved. Powell comfortably fits into their trade exception. They have young players and picks to make a deal work. He’s unlikely to be their main move, but Boston could benefit from the bench scoring Powell would provide.

Noise will be made about the Knicks, who have cap space to take Powell’s contract on. Extending him is more straight forward for them, too. Given the likely cost, though, this probably isn’t a move the Knicks should make. Powell is the perfect player for any team searching for scoring punch. While that suits the Knicks, it’s every bit as important for the Warriors. Their numbers when Stephen Curry sits are grotesque.

Kelly Oubre plus a pick or young player for Powell would work for Golden State. Maybe the Raptors manage to flip Oubre elsewhere for another asset.

Powell will be a trade target for a lot of teams. This could descend into a bidding war.

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About Sam Cox 684 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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