From Zero to Hero: Four Toronto Raptor success stories

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Norman Powell— From overlooked & inconsistent to key contributor

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

Selected in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft, Norman Powell has had a tumultuous career with the Raptors— it reads like a helter-skelter electrocardiograph, full of electric peaks and dark valleys.

Coming into the NBA, the knock against him was an unreliable jump shot. However, due to roster injuries and hard work, Powell showed otherwise, establishing himself as a reliable threat from deep as a rookie, providing some exceptional performances.

Unfortunately, inconsistency became his calling card.

For the last several years, Powell would flash his immense talent, taking over in a memorable Game 5 performance during the 2017 first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks. He’d then sign a four-year, $42 million contract extension, only to revert to his inconsistent ways, and eventually lose his spot to a rookie OG Anunoby.

The questions swirled. Was he overpaid? Could he put it all together someday or was he destined for greater success one day somewhere else?

Then this season happened and everything clicked. While he missed time due to injuries, Powell finally broke through, doubling his scoring average from last season without any drop off in efficiency. Through 44 games, Powell is averaging 16.4 points per game, shooting 50.2 per cent from the field and 39.8 per cent from 3-point range. Brimming with confidence and swagger, he’s making good decisions and stringing together longer and longer stretches of great performances.

After many false starts, we finally have the beginning of a special success story.