Toronto Raptors: How does Norman Powell fit into the Raptors Future?

Norman Powell Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Norman Powell Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors /

Drafted in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft by Milwaukee before being traded to the Toronto Raptors, Norman Powell has had a bit of an up and down career so far. However, if this season is a benchmark for what to expect from him going forward, Norman Powell fits into the Raptors’ future plans.

Norman Powell has been a bit of an enigma since he started playing for the Toronto Raptors as a rookie in the 2015 NBA season. He has been a role player who was always ready when his number was called. Powell has been a standout playoff performer at times perhaps the best Raptors’ playoff performer until last season when Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam led the team to the championship. He was even a starter when the 2017/18 season began, a role he lost to then-rookie teammate OG Anunoby.

Powell signed a four year 42 million dollar deal in October of 2017 with a player option for the 2021-22 season. At age 26, even though his first five seasons in the NBA have been defined by inconsistent play with several standout moments, Powell is young enough and talented enough to remain a key member of the Raptors core group of players.

This season has been a revelation for the Raptors shooting guard before it was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Powell is trusted by head coach Nick Nurse, illustrated by the fact Powell is a key member of the Raptors rotation when healthy averaging 28.8 minutes and 16.4 points per game.  These numbers are the highest of his career to date.

"It was never a question of work ethic — Powell lives in the gym and is constantly trying to improve"

In the world of team sports, it’s always a question of what have you done for me lately. Before the season was suspended and his last injury, Powell’s play was outstanding, consistent,  and he was confident in his game.

The Toronto Raptors have tough decisions to make going forward concerning player personnel and here is why Norman Powell’s 2019/20 performance has made those choices tougher.