PORTLAND – The Portland Trail Blazers hope the NBA Championship experience Norman Powell earned in Toronto in 2019 will be enough coupled with a full season with the team to make a deeper play off run as the team announced plans to run-it-back with essentially the same line-up as last season.
Looking for help with the injury-ridden roster last season, guard/forward Norman Powell was brought in by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey and became a solid addition to the team after being acquired from Toronto in exchange for Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. on March 25, 2021.
The veteran 28 year-old guard signed a five-year, $90 million contract with the Trail Blazers in free agency after he raised the market for himself over the last two seasons and then declined a $11.6 million player option with the Trail Blazers to become a free agent at the end of the season.
“Re-signing Norm was a priority this offseason and we are pleased that he chose to make a long-term commitment to Portland,” said Olshey. “We look forward to him building off his career year and are confident he will play an integral role in the future success of our franchise.”
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During the 2020-21 season, Powell averaged 18.6 points (47.7% FG, 41.1% 3-PT, 87.1% FT), 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.19 steals and 32.0 minutes in 69 games (58 starts) with Toronto and Portland. His averages for points, assists, steals and minutes were all career highs, as were his shooting splits from the three-point line and the foul stripe. He was one of 14 players in the league to average at least 18.0 points while shooting better than 40.0% from the three-point line during the 2020-21 season.
As we mentioned before, Powell was an NBA Champion with Toronto in 2019. Powell has reached the playoffs in every season of his career: in 73 postseason games (14 starts), he has averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist. His averages of 17.0 points and 2.0 assists for Portland during the 2021 NBA Playoffs were both career bests.
Powell was originally selected out of UCLA by Milwaukee with the 46th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft and dealt to Toronto in a draft-night trade. In six NBA seasons with Toronto and Portland, he holds career averages of 10.4 points (46.3% FG, 37.7% 3-PT, 83.7% FT), 2.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 21.2 minutes in 376 games (147 starts).