The Detroit Pistons are among the teams linked to the latest popular name to enter the free agent market: Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell. The sniper turns 28 in May and is in the middle of his third straight season of really strong play.
With the Raptors roster decimated by injuries and health and safety protocol concerns, Powell is finally getting off to a regular start and the rest of the NBA is taking notice.
Powell scored a career-high 43 points against the Detroit Pistons a week ago, but on par with the field in Toronto it resulted in a loss. The Raptors have lost nine in a row, 11 of 12 and three of their last four L’s have come to the hands of the Pistons, Cavs and Rockets. Yes, your season is over.
I saw HOU-TOR this morning. I’d say the Raptors are officially in sad trombone territory.
Second play of the game. Good bounce. pic.twitter.com/ADvIF7A5qd
– John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 23, 2021
The former second-round pick is shooting 43% of his career, out of three, and has played so well that it is anticipated that he will decline his $ 11.6 million player option to cash in during free agency.
Michael Grange, who covers the Raptors for Rogers Sportsnet, recently said it’s “almost inevitable” that the Raptors will cash in on their pending free agent before losing him for nothing in the offseason.
Bleacher Report’s Jeff Fischer reports that Dallas, Boston, Minnesota, Detroit and Atlanta have been linked to Powell in business discussions. The cost would certainly be significant and would likely cost multiple young and future assets. That means this would be almost a no-starter for the Pistons, especially in a multi-team bidding war.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pistons put the potential of 20-year-old Sekou Doumbouya into play with Toronto thinking they could build him on their player development machine. But it is not enough to close a deal. And that means Detroit has to put aside a future asset (I’m sure next year’s pick is off the table).
Detroit is just beginning its rebuilding, so the first-round picks and their core of young players (Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, Saben Lee) are likely off the table.
Another quick thing to keep in mind: There are some teams looking to negotiate to get out of or down on the luxury tax (Lakers, Jazz, Philadelphia and Golden State), and the Detroit Pistons have a spot on the roster and financial space to spare after the purchase of Blake Griffin.
Terrance Ferguson, a former OKC draft pick, is wasting away in Philadelphia and earning $ 3.9 million. It could be an easy way for the Pistons to recoup some of the second-round draft capital they’ve lost in Weaver’s flurry of previous deals. Something worth keeping an eye on.
What do you think of a possible Norman Powell trade? What would it look like to close the deal? Are the Pistons in so many trade rumors because Troy Weaver is aggressive or because NBA agents know Troy Weaver is aggressive so they can pitch him to any potential rumors and no one would think twice about his accuracy?