Norman Powell is heading for a massive payday this summer.
Whether it's with the Toronto Raptors or elsewhere, the Raptors free-agent-to-be is going to cash in this offseason with a pretty significant contract, reportedly in the $20 million annual salary range, league executives tell ESPN's Zach Lowe.
Powell is a borderline lock to decline his $11 million player option for next season, raising a pressing dilemma for the Raptors. Powell is going to get capital-P paid; executives expect a $20 million annual salary.
That's part of what makes the prospect of moving on from Powell ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline so intriguing for the Raptors. Coming into the season it was possible Powell may have decided to opt-in to his $11 player option, but he's played so well lately that he might have priced himself out of a return to Toronto.
Considering the Raptors already have long-term money invested in Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby it's tough to see Toronto bringing back Powell and locking up even more cap space into a core that hasn't shown an ability to really contend in the Eastern Conference without another star leading the way. Therefore, moving Powell ahead of the deadline would allow Toronto to recoup some of his value and send him to a team he's more likely to sign long-term with.
The alternative for Toronto is to wait until the offseason, ride out this season and see if things change with Powell. Assuming he doesn't cool off too much, they could work out a sign-and-trade with him, though that is certainly more difficult considering Powell would be in the driver's seat for any negotiations.