It’s rare to see a win-win trade at the NBA Deadline, but credit the Raptors and Trail Blazers for achieving just that with the Norman Powell deal.
The Raptors approached the NBA Trade Deadline with quite a few decisions to make. One of their biggest calls was to decide whether or not Norman Powell was a part of their long-term core. Clearly, Toronto decided they didn’t want to pay the premium required to keep him in free agency.
That’s why the Raptors agreed to send Powell to Portland in exchange for Rodney Hood and Gary Trent, Jr. Hood hasn’t played well at all for the Blazers this season so it’s safe to assume his inclusion is the deal is largely to help match salary. His contract contains a team option for next season that Toronto will almost certainly decline.
That makes this deal an intriguing swap of two different types of wings. Powell is the better player in a vacuum, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Blazers won this deal. Check out the grades below to find out.
Gary Trent, Jr
Trail Blazers Get
Raptors Grade: B
This is a solid move by Toronto’s front office considering the pressure they are under. They don’t want to put the current season but they understand their roster isn’t good enough to be legitimate title contenders.
Instead of overpaying Powell in unrestricted free agency, the Raptors elected to acquire a replacement with more team control. Trent, Jr is only headed to restricted free agency in the offseason. He might get a big offer that makes the Raptors flinch, but he’s unlikely to garner the sort of lucrative contract that Powell seems destined to receive.
On the court, Trent’s perimeter shooting ability is a nice fit alongside Toronto’s current starting group. They give up some defensive versatility in this deal, but it’s a solid move by the Raptors’ front office to avoid the temptation to overpay Powell this summer.
Trail Blazers Grade: B-
Acquiring another wing was a requirement for the Blazers if they want to make any noise in this year’s playoffs. Powell helps their group immensely with his ability to guard bigger opponents while also giving them added punch on the offensive end.
The reason why Portland loses this deal is that now they’re taking on the problem of paying Powell this offseason. They almost have to keep him after giving up Trent, Jr. in this trade. Team ownership has the cash required to make that work for the Blazers, but it’s going to be an expensive team moving forward.