Title: What would a Norman Powell contract extension look like for the Raptors?
Date: September 21, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I examined whether or not Norman Powell may be amenable to a contract extension with the Raptors.
Back in May 2016, during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Miami Heat’s Josh Richardson checked in and lined up alongside the Raptors’ Norman Powell midway through the first quarter. It was a situation few would have predicted both rookies would be in: Early on, the leverage of each possession exceptionally high, their teams were leaning on them despite rosters littered with more seasoned players.
In that moment, and at times again in the six games that followed, Richardson and Powell appeared linked, sharing a kinship of rapid ascension, having bucked pre-draft notions and carved out substantial positions as freshmen.
Richardson, the 40th overall pick of the Heat the previous June, played sparingly in the first half of the 2015-16 season, even spending some time with Sioux Falls of the then-D-League. When injuries struck the Heat, Richardson acquitted himself well over five January games receiving heavy play. Then he returned to his end-of-the-bench status. Coming out of the all-star break, he left no opportunity for the Heat to once again relegate his role – from Feb. 19 on, he appeared in all 29 Heat games, averaged 10.2 points on 62.2-per cent true-shooting, was named rookie of the month for March, and would end up averaging 27.6 minutes over two playoff series.
Powell’s season reads almost as if I copy-and-pasted Richardson’s (I did not). Acquired in a lopsided draft-night deal along with a protected first-round pick for Greivis Vasquez, Powell used the perceived slight of slipping to No. 46 in his draft as personal fuel. He did his best John Wick impression at Summer League, earning all-tournament honours and playing his way to a three-year contract.