Norman Powell is under contract to the Toronto Raptors for two more seasons thanks to his 2017 four years 42 million dollar contract (Powell has an option for 2021/22). His play this season has muddled the seemingly obvious decision that Fred Vanvleet would be the heir apparent to Kyle Lowry at point guard.
This almost guaranteed decision seems less certain today. It started when the Raptors extended Lowry for one more season at 31 million dollars, in October of 2019, before this season began and he has not finished writing his legend in Toronto. Then, head coach Nick Nurse, perhaps to keep Fred Vanvleet happy, decided to start a small backcourt naming Vanvleet the starting shooting guard instead of going to the bigger/taller Norman Powell.
Vanvleet is one of several key Raptors whose contract must be dealt with this coming off-season and he is expected to have options of where to play meaning the Raptors may be in a bidding war that could more than double the sharp shooter’s salary currently nine million dollar s per season.
If speculation is true that the Raptors want to pursue the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021 as a free agent, Fred VanVleet may become a very expensive and costly option on the team roster.
The Raptors could next season go with Lowry at the point and a secured fixed 10.8 million invested in Powell at the shooting guard. The Raptors would still have a developing Terence Davis coming off of a promising rookie season and sharpshooter Matt Thomas. They could fill the backup point guard spot with a cheaper option walking away from Vanvleet’s potentially pricey situation.
This is a great situation to be in for the Toronto Raptors’ front office as the choice to walk away from a talent like Vanvleet is only possible because a talent like Powell may have finally developed into more than a role player and his contract is already secure at a defined cost.