Trail Blazers' Updated Roster, Salary Cap After Norman Powell Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell, right, drives against Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Sunday, March 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers shook things up on Thursday, acquiring guard Norman Powell for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

So, what does the team's depth chart look like with Powell added to the mix?

  • PG: Damian Lillard / Anfernee Simons (when healthy)
  • SG: CJ McCollum / Norman Powell / CJ Elleby
  • SF: Derrick Jones Jr. / Nassir Little (when healthy) / Keljin Blevins
  • PF: Robert Covington / Carmelo Anthony / Zach Collins
  • C: Jusuf Nurkic (when healthy) / Enes Kanter / Harry Giles III

So, what does Powell bring to the Blazers? 

Well, he'll score the rock. Powell is having a career year, averaging 19.6 points and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 43.9 percent from three. He'll be instant offense and instant shooting off the bench, or another dangerous weapon in the starting lineup depending on how Terry Stotts utilizes his group. 

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix

Blazers get a terrific shooter/scorer with a deep playoff resume in Norman Powell. Portland getting healthy -- if Powell fits, this will be a dangerous team in the playoffs.

Synergy Basketball @SynergySST

Among the 92 #NBA players to use over 500 possessions this season, Norman Powell ranks 4th in scoring efficiency shooting an eFG% of 66% on catch and shoot jumpers, 58% on pull-ups, and 61% finishing around the rim.

Rod Beard @detnewsRodBeard

I like this for the Blazers. I keep thinking they're a player away, but Powell should be a big help for them in a playoff run this year. https://t.co/9m0REEPr3R

It's fair to question if that's what the Blazers need, however. Even with McCollum missing a large chunk of the season, putting the ball in the net hasn't been an issue for these Blazers, with an offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of 115.8, sixth in the NBA.

Getting stops is the bigger issue. Portland has a defensive rating of just 116.8, 29th in the NBA. In that regard, adding another switchable forward capable of defending multiple positions—like, say, an Aaron Gordon—would have filled a more pressing need. 

Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

Aaron Gordon would've made way more sense for the Blazers than Norm Powell. With Dame and CJ, Portland already has enough offensive firepower. What the Blazers lack is a switchable on-ball defender who can plug and play on offense, and thrive on the short roll. Gordon was ideal. https://t.co/pds52jfzgg

Still, Powell is an upgrade over both Hood and Trent and will be another weapon for Portland's already dangerous offense. The Blazers most certainly didn't get worse on Thursday. It's just fair to question whether a player like Gordon might have increased their ceiling more than Powell. 

Regardless, the Trail Blazers (25-18) will once again be a tough out in the Western Conference Playoffs.