What to expect from Norman Powell with the Toronto Raptors


This summer, Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri once again reminded fans why he is such a popular and well respected NBA executive. During the draft, he picked up two guards, each of whom look like solid potential contributors for the Raptors immediately. In particular, 46th overall pick Norman Powell has already earned an important role with the team after an incredible showing at Las Vegas Summer League (LVSM).

More from Raptors News

During LVSM, Powell averaged 18.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, shooting 51% from the field and 44% on 3-pointers. Powell was equally impressive on the defensive end, where he earned 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, making his presence felt through aggressive play. Basically, he shocked anyone who was watching, skyrocketing his projected ceiling in the process. Powell walked away from LVSM as the only rookie to make the ALL NBA Summer-League First Team. He also left with a contract with the Raptors.

While Summer League success often doesn’t lead to NBA success, it is still worth marvelling at what Powell was able to accomplish. Going into training camp this fall, it appears as though he has a lock on the backup shooting guard role behind one-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan. In more ways than one, Powell’s place within the depth chart could be huge for his development into the quality player many now expect he will become.

Powell will get to learn the ropes of being a professional basketball player from DeRozan, who has had a great career so far. He will be taught consistency, effort and leadership by watching his teammate on the court. DeRozan should also be the right mentor to help Powell smoothly adjust to the pressures that will exist off the court.

He figures to play at least 15 minutes per game, which will be huge for a second-round pick. On that basis alone, Powell will be known as the biggest steal of the draft. He will have an ideal role while on the court, because he will simply be expected to play hard on offence and defence, but not worry too much about being the go-to guy. Instead, one of the team’s growing number of veterans will take the reigns and Powell will be able to simply play within himself.

Beyond scoring a few points per game and looking to drive to the hoop as much as possible, Powell will primarily be asked to defend. He is a gritty defender, aided by his 6-11 wingspan, above average athleticism and strong understanding of offensive sets. during LVSM, he showed that he could defend both inside and outside, and that he wasn’t scared of a little contact.

Expect to hear a lot about Powell this season, as he moves from unknown prospect to explosive commodity. My prediction for his statistical output: 8.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Next: How Kyle Lowry's new weight affects the Raptors

More from Raptors Rapture