The Detroit Pistons are among the teams linked to the latest hot name entering the free agent market — Toronto Raptors shooting guard Norman Powell. The sharpshooter will be 28 in May and is in the midst of his third consecutive season of really strong play.
With the Raptors roster decimated by injuries and health and safety protocol concerns, Powell is finally starting regularly and the rest of the NBA is taking notice.
Powell scored a career-high 43 points against the Detroit Pistons a week ago, but par for the course in Toronto it came in a loss. The Raptors have lost nine in a row, 11 of 12 and three of its past four Ls have come at the hands of the Pistons, Cavs and Rockets. Yeah, their season is over.
Watched HOU-TOR this morning. I’d say the Raptors are officially in sad trombones territory.
Second play of the game. Nice rebounding. pic.twitter.com/ADvIF7A5qd
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 23, 2021
The former second-round pick is shooting a career-high 43% from three and has played so well he is anticipated to turn down his $11.6 million player option to cash in during free agency.
Michael Grange, who covers the Raptors for Rogers Sportsnet, recently said it’s “close to inevitable” the Raptors cash in on their pending free agent before they lose him for nothing in the offseason.
Bleacher Report’s Jeff Fischer reports Dallas, Boston, Minnesota, Detroit and Atlanta have been linked to Powell in trade discussions. The cost would certainly be significant and it would likely cost multiple young and future assets. That pretty much means this would be close to a non-starter for the Pistons, especially in a bidding war with multiple teams.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Pistons dangled the potential of 20-year-old Sekou Doumbouya with Toronto thinking it might be able to build him up in their player development machine. But it’s not enough to get a deal done. And that means Detroit has to let go of a future asset (I’m sure next year’s pick is off the table).
Detroit has just begin its rebuild so first-round picks and its core of young players (Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, Saben Lee) are likely off the table.
Another quick thing to note — there are some teams out there looking to trade their way out of or lower into the luxury tax (Lakers, Jazz, Philadelphia and Golden State), and the Detroit Pistons have a roster spot and financial room to spare after the Blake Griffin buyout.
Former OKC draft pick Terrance Ferguson is wasting away in Philly and making $3.9 million. It could be an easy way for the Pistons to recoup some of the second-round draft capital they’ve lost in Weaver’s flurry of previous deals. Something worth keeping an eye on.
What do you think of a potential Norman Powell trade? What would it need to look like to get the deal done? Are the Pistons in so many trade rumors because Troy Weaver is aggressive or because NBA agents know Troy Weaver is aggressive so they can toss him into any potential rumor and nobody would think twice about its accuracy?