The Toronto Raptors had a tough decision to make at last month's NBA trade deadline.
They reportedly had offers from over a dozen teams for Norman Powell including deals from Brooklyn, Detroit, Indiana, Minnesota, Houston, and Rockets, according to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer. Ultimately, the team went with the Portland Trail Blazers' offer, acquiring Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.
Part of the impetus for trading Powell was to save some money this summer as the 27-year-old Powell headed into unrestricted free agency. It's widely been reported that Powell will command something in the neighbourhood of $20 million annually when he hits the open market. By moving him for Trent, however, Toronto did get younger, but it remains unclear just how much money they'll actually be saving.
Shortly after the trade deadline, Yahoo's Chris Haynes reported that league sources believe Trent could command between $18 and $20 million per season. Those numbers were reportedly in the mind of Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey when he agreed to move Trent for Powell.
"Part of the Blazers' calculus in swapping Trent for Powell was projecting their former second-round pick's next salary to average around $15 million annually, only for Trent to largely play backup minutes to McCollum," Fischer reported Tuesday.
Whatever Trent's expected salary was at the time of the deal has certainly gone up in his time with Toronto. After a disappointing first few games with the Raptors, Trent has broken out, averaging 18.4 points on 46% shooting with 41% 3-point shooting. It's gotten to the point lately where the price difference between him and Powell might not be that big when the offseason wraps up this summer.