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Report: Raptors trade Norman Powell to Trail Blazers for Gary Trent Jr.

Toronto and Portland swap young guards in a deal before the deadline.

Norman Powell of the Toronto Raptors reacts during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Amalie Arena on March 24, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are trading G Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers for G Gary Trent Jr. and G Rodney Hood, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday before the NBA Trade Deadline. The Raptors make their first big move of the day. Toronto could also ship out PG Kyle Lowry, who is on an expiring contract.

The Blazers trade away a promising young guard in Trent for Powell, who is a bit further along in his development. Powell can help the Blazers win now, where as Trent wasn’t quite there despite playing well the past two seasons. Powell has a player option for 2021-22, so he could be a rental. Trent will be a RFA this offseason, but wouldn’t command a high salary from Toronto.

The Portland Trail Blazers are getting a two-way player in Norman Powell that can help both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on offensive end. Powell is having a career-year, averaging 19.6 points per game, while shooting 49.8% from the field and 43.9% from three-point range. The decision to move Hood and Trent for Powell could pay huge dividends for Portland as the make their push to the second half.

The only question now remains if they will be able to pay him this offseason? Powell is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. But the Trail Blazers won’t have to answer that until this summer.

As for Toronto, they are officially on the verge of pressing the rebuild button sort of. They are getting two players in Hood and Trent that can step right into the rotation and give them quality minutes. Trent Jr. is the more intriguing player between two as he can come and score. This season, the former Duke Blue standout is averaging 15.0 points per game and shooting 39.7% from three-point range on 7.4 attempts per game. Just like with Powell, the Raptors will have to make a decision on Trent, who is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this offseason.