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Report: Norman Powell declines player option, will enter free agency

The Trail Blazers’ versatile wing player is expected to command significant money in the offseason.

Portland Trail Blazers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Norman Powell of the Portland Trail smiles during the game against the Denver Nuggets during Round 1, Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 1, 2021 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard Norman Powell is declining his $11.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season and entering free agency, according to Chris Haynes. Powell is a versatile two-way player who will command significant attention in free agency. The Heat, Hawks, Suns, Spurs, Lakers and Bulls will be among teams interested in adding Powell.

Powell averaged 18.6 points per game this season with the Blazers and Toronto Raptors. He was acquired by Portland in a trade as the team looked to add depth behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Powell averaged 17.0 points per game for Portland in the postseason, but the Blazers lost to the Denver Nuggets in six games. His most important trait is his perimeter shooting. Powell hit 41.1 percent of his triples this season and is a career 37.7 percent shooter from deep.

There’s uncertainty around Portland’s roster this offseason with Lillard and McCollum reportedly at odds with the franchise. There’s also new head coach Chauncey Billups, whose hire has drawn the ire of many fans for the supposed lack of transparency around the investigation allegations of sexual misconduct from 1997 when he was a player with the Boston Celtics.

Given all those factors, it makes sense for Powell to enter free agency. He’s a great three-point shooter who will likely get a raise on his salary and long-term security.

The Trail Blazers are +5000 to win the NBA title next season according to DraftKings Sportsbook. That puts them on the same level as the Celtics and slightly ahead of the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans.