It didn’t take long for President and General Manager Masai Ujiri to decide what to do with some of his remaining salary cap space after officially signing veteran power forward Luis Scola earlier today, he immediately locked up his 2015 second round draft pick Norman Powell. (terms not disclosed)
A mature 6’4 guard with an impressive 6’11 wingspan, Powell has owned NBA Summer League opponents in Las Vegas over the past week. In 3 games, he has averaged 19.3 points on 59.5 percent shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks in just 25 minutes.
A highlight reel performer in each game, Powell has flown in for dunks, swatted away shots, played impressive defense and even made his share of jump shots. The sample size may have been small, but the impression has been huge.
It is anticipated that Ujiri opted to sign Powell now in order to take advantage of his available salary cap space and offer his high potential prospect a three-year contract that will protect the Raptors full bird rights at the end of the deal and keep Toronto’s option to make him a restricted free agent at that time.
It’s early in Powell’s professional career and it’s easy to forget this kid is yet to be rookie in the NBA. There will be some rough patches ahead. However, it hasn’t happened often in Toronto that a second round draft pick has been able to generate this kind of buzz in Summer League.
With only a handful of games left in Las Vegas after today, the potential future stars of the NBA have already left their mark at one of the Summer League venues. Some of these kids have been a huge surprise while others – looking at you Marcus Smart – simply don’t belong here anymore.
Ujiri’s roster has taken shape. All but two of the roster spots are spoken for and his second round pick Norman Powell is dominating the Las Vegas NBA Summer League and forcing his team’s hand. If the Raptors want to protect their bird right’s down the line with this promising young prospect, they’ll have to use some of their available salary cap space to secure Powell to a three-year deal for more than the minimum salary exception provides.
The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard Norman Powell. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Powell, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, was selected 46th overall by Toronto in the 2015 NBA Draft. Through three Summer League games in Las Vegas he leads the Raptors averaging 19.3 points and is shooting 22-for-37 (.595) from the field. Powell has led the team in scoring in all three Summer League games, including a team-high 20 points during his professional debut July 10 vs. Sacramento.
Powell appeared in 141 games over four seasons at UCLA and averaged a career-high 16.4 points during the 2014-15 campaign. He ranks 28th on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list with 1,376 career points. Powell helped UCLA reach the NCAA Tournament three times (2013, 2014 and 2015), including back-to-back trips to the Sweet 16 (2014 and 2015).