The Woj-inator strikes again. Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Raptors and Norman Powell have reached an agreement on a new contract extension. Here are the apparent details:
Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell has agreed to a four-year, $42 million contract extension, league sources told ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 5, 2017
That’s some big bucks for a third-year swing man and former 46th overall draft pick. But if you’ve been following the Raptors for the past two years, you’ll know it’s probably worth it.
Powell, the 24-year-old, 6’4” swing man out of UCLA, has been the Raptors brightest young prospect since exploding in the second half of the 2015-16 season (a.k.a. the best year in franchise history). He’s already got two playoff-saving runs under his belt, and is in line for a larger role with Toronto this season. Despite being a second round pick — only coming to Toronto after the Raps traded Greivis Vasquez (remember him?) to the Bucks for the pick — Norm has proven himself to be a valuable player for the franchise, and a tireless (angry man) worker.
Last season, despite a seesawing role that saw him average 18 minutes per game as a spot starter or super-sub, Powell averaged 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.2 blocks, while shooting 45 percent from the floor, and 32 percent from three. His strengths since coming to the Raptors have become more visible — his dunks more vicious, his drives more purposeful — and he’s been gradually turning himself into more a playmaker and three-point shooter (a must for any wing player in the modern NBA). There’s been a lot to like about Norm’s development arc.
More importantly though, is perhaps what Norm represents. Right now, the Raptors are stocked with young players who may or may not take off in bigger roles. We saw flashes of good stuff from Delon Wright last season, and bits and pieces from Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam. Lucas Nogueira may be on his way out, Bruno Caboclo is still (still) learning), and OG Anunoby is a bit of an unknown quantity. For all that time, Powell has been the guiding light for the Raptors’ internal development projects, the guy everyone from president Masai Ujiri on down could point to as proof positive that Toronto’s approach was working. The team didn’t give up much to get Norm, didn’t have to pay him much for three years of development, and now they have a solid contributor on the team, locked into a reasonable contract, looking to get even better.
Or, as our man Steven Lebron puts it:
my thoughts on the norm extension is that tim hardaway jr. will make $17.3M next season— alex (@steven_lebron) October 5, 2017