After scoring a career-high 43 points in a Wednesday loss against the Detroit Pistons, it’s not a surprise that multiple teams are looking to acquire Norman Powell prior to the March 25 trade deadline. What’s less shocking, is that the Raptors were unwilling to trade Powell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for center Andre Drummond, according to Marc Stein.
Since entering the starting lineup on Jan. 22, Powell has been on a scoring tear, especially over the last seven games, averaging 30.2 points per game while shooting at an incredibly-efficient rate of 57.9 percent from the field.
After experiencing a slow start to the season, the 27-year-old shooting guard quickly turned it around and established himself as a key piece to the team’s future, which already includes Fred Vanvleet, OG Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam.
As the team continues to struggle, Powell is blossoming into an elite scorer and will likely opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, which means the team will have to decide whether to get a return on his value or re-sign him during the offseason.
With one week left in the trade deadline, it’s also been reported that Kyle Lowry won’t be available via trade, despite months of speculation.
Whether the roster includes Powell or not, the Raptors are looking to make a strong push for the playoffs or play-in tournament in the second half of the season.
“It’s going to be interesting to see if we do anything for the short-term or long-term,” Nick Nurse said after Wednesday’s game. “They deserve to make a push because they’ve proven that they can play well against the best teams in the league, and then what do you do about the future?”