Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
This is just too awesome -
Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell has agreed to a four-year, $42 million contract extension, league sources told ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 5, 2017
If there were any doubts about Norman Powell being a vital part of the future for the Raptors, they should be completely expelled with this extension. Once again, Masai Ujiri gets the job done and wastes no time in solidifying one of the core players for the team for the next 4 years. The stress and anxiety of the looming free agency (albeir, restricted) that was probably hovering over fans can be eased.
I mean, HOLY CRAP! Not to be that fanboy about it, but as my favorite player on the Raptors (#NormToTheFuture - make that a thing), I'm beyond excited that he's staying a Raptor. I don't consider this to be any sort of an overpay, high risk, or bad move. Powell has proven that he's ready to take that next step and play a very important role for this squad moving forward. Starter or not, it won't matter. He's part of the foundation that the Raptors will (continue to) build around.
Averaging just south of 17 minutes a game (16.7) over his short career as a regular for the Raptors, Powell's numbers are more than just a little encouraging. Shooting 44% from the field, 32% from deep, Powell will provide the Raptors with security on the offensive side of the ball should anything happen to their mainstays; or should one of them need a rest. Moreover, we (justifiably) expect those minutes to tick up this season, thereby seeing a boost in those numbers.
And this is just regular season numbers we're talking about. How many of us were begging Dwane Casey to start Powell last year in their series against Milwaukee? His performance was simply awesome, as he carried himself with a boatload of confidence, shooting 91% from deep (!!!!!) during that stretch. If you forgot just how much of a contributor he was during that series, here are the highlights from Game 5 in Toronto -
I'm rambling at this point. Chalk it up to excitement.
However, if we're being honest, we should address a good point made by TSN's Josh Lewenberg. To boot -
A bit surprised Norm didnt bet on himself going into contract year with expanded role, but cant blame him for opting for long-term security— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) October 5, 2017
Given how the amount of money that is being exchanged between teams and free agents as of late, you may not be entirely incorrect if you thought that Powell could have gotten more, had he become a free agent. Even though I said we shouldn't concern ourselves with whether or not Powell will be or should be a starter (even though... ya know... he should), it's a safe bet that he's concerned with that. Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me at all if management and the coaching staff assured him a bigger role and workload moving forward. Should this happen, and should Powell continue to trend upwards in terms of his production, this contract will be a steal. $10.5MM per year and just above the mid-level exception? I'll take that. All day.
Again, it's really really hard to find anything wrong with this.
NORMAN POWELL STAYS!!
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