Kyle Lowry manage to survive the trade deadline, but one Toronto Raptor who was not so lucky is admitting to being a little shook.
New Portland Trail Blazers swingman Norman Powell penned a piece this week for The Players’ Tribune. In the article, Powell said it was a “shock” that he was traded by the Toronto Raptors.
“I wouldn’t say I had NO idea a trade might be on the table,” Powell wrote. “I understand the way things work — and I knew my situation, as well as the team’s. I’m coming up on free agency. We were 11th in the East. I’m in a position where I can help a contender (and I’ll do that). They’re in a position where maybe they want to get younger (and they did that).
“But even with all of that said, it still caught me off-guard,” the 27-year-old added. “Not just because of the way I’ve been playing this season, but also the bigger picture — I always thought of myself as part of the core that was being built around. Me, Freddy [VanVleet], Pascal [Siakam], we all kind of came up together. We’re all about the same age. We’re thick as thieves, man. And I really felt like our group, plus OG [Anunoby], we were destined to be the next great Raptors team.”
The former UCLA star Powell went to the Blazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. He had indeed been part of the Raptors’ homegrown young core, having been acquired by the team on draft night 2015. Powell blossomed in Toronto from an unheralded second-round pick into now a nearly 20-point-per-game scorer. He also helped contribute to the team’s first-ever NBA championship victory in 2019.
But with the Raptors well under .500 this season and Powell holding an $11.6 million option for next season, they decided that it was time to let him go. It is also clear that Powell is having a hard time adjusting to the change.