Norman Powell re-signed with the Portland Trail Blazers Friday. The two sides agreed to a 5-year contract worth $90 million, or $18 million per season. Re-signing Powell was a high priority for the Blazers this offseason. This contract locks him down through the 2026 season.
Norman Powell Re-Signs With the Portland Trail Blazers
Powell spent the first five years of his six-year career with the Toronto Raptors. Toronto traded Powell to Portland last season, giving the Blazers his Bird rights, which allowed them to offer the shooting guard a five-year deal that exceeds the salary cap. He has a career average of 10.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He was originally drafted in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, 46th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. Last season he scored a career-high 18.6 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds per game for the Raptors and Trail Blazers.
Powell started all 27 games that he played for Portland last year. Playing at small forward, he averaged 17 points and 3.3 rebounds during that span. Powell brings plenty of playoff experience to the table as well. Last season, he maintained his 17 point average during the first-round loss to the Denver Nuggets. Powell not only brings championship experience from his time in Toronto but he twice averaged double figures for the Raptors during other playoff runs. The undersized forward has the ability to lock down virtually any perimeter player in the league. This ability is exceptionally valuable during the postseason,
At 28, Powell still has time to improve his game. Portland would like to see him get better on the glass. So far in his career, Powell has mainly been a three and D guy. He could improve on his ball-handling and facilitating in the offseason. With All-Star Damian Lillard and sharpshooter CJ McCollum in the backcourt, Powell should have plenty of opportunities to improve his assist numbers.
What This Means for the Future
Retaining Powell means the Trail Blazers have kept their starting lineup intact. The front office in Portland is doing what it can to build a team around Lillard that can contend for a title and the former Raptor is a big part of that. New head coach Chauncey Billups will certainly appreciate the wingman’s defensive intensity. The Blazers were 29th in the league last season on defense and the team hopes that Powell’s presence for an entire season will help them improve significantly in that regard. On the offensive end, Powell had his best season last year, shooting a career-high six three-pointers a game and making a career-high 41.1% of those attempts. The former UCLA Bruin has improved his offensive statistics nearly every season of his career. With a full season alongside Lillard, one can expect another career year from Powell next season.
Embed from Getty Images