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Raptors' Norman Powell on Trade Rumors: 'I Want to Stay Here'

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMarch 25, 2021

Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell (24) blocks a shot by Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Norman Powell isn't ready for his time with the Toronto Raptors to come to an end even if a number of rival clubs are clamoring for his services ahead of Thursday afternoon's NBA trade deadline.   

Following the Raps' 135-111 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, during which the forward posted 22 points and three assists, Powell made it clear his heart is with his current franchise whether or not his future is. 

"I don't think about it all," he told reporters about the trade rumors. "Other people around me think about it more than me. My roots are here. Given everything I've given to the franchise, I want to stay here."

Powell wasn't the only Toronto player going through it after the game. 

Kyle Lowry has been in just as many trade rumors as Powell—if not more—and had trouble summing up his thoughts on what could possibly be his last few hours with the organization. 

"It was weird tonight not knowing what the next step will be," Lowry said. But when asked about what he hopes for Thursday, the veteran began to trail off. 

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"I don't know. I wish I could give you a decision," he added.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that the number of teams interested in Powell had reached the "teens," though it's still unclear what the asking price is on the young guard with a player option for 2022. 

Depending on where Powell lands, he could opt into next year and earn $11.6 million, or he could decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent at 28 years old and coming off the best year of his career. Neither choice is simple—and neither guarantees future success—but it's a decision worth weighing both for Powell and any team trying to trade for him.

Through 41 games this year, Powell is averaging 19.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He's a bonafide scorer who can help a contender right now. 

And he's just hours away from finding out whether that'll be the case. 

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