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Russillo: Powell Is An Upgrade Over Trent Jr.

Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo dissect the Portland-Toronto deadline deal as it happened.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers made their sole trade deadline move earlier today, moving Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood for Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors. The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo discussed the deal as it happened, highlighting why the deal benefits both teams.

Russillo was more bullish about Powell in Portland, stating 27-year-old Powell as a clear upgrade over Trent Jr.

“I really like Norman Powell as a scorer and a story, second round guy and the way they used him, when you go back to that Finals run.”

“This guy can get shots in a bunch of different ways, that’s one of the great impressive things about this Toronto group the last couple of years is that it felt that like everybody who had the ball was pretty capable of getting their shot, which is pretty rare

“He seems pissed off all the time, which I kind of like too. He had a player option next year at $11.6 million that he’s definitely going to decline so Toronto knew they couldn’t re-sign him.”

“It feels like Portland is just like, look man, of all the options that are out there, they were on a couple of other people, but they probably just feel like Powell’s a big offensive upgrade over Trent.”

“Trent’s had his moments, Trent’s going to end up having a career here, and Toronto gets control over a guy that still on a rookie deal. So I feel like they feel like Powell is the upgrade on that and maybe just they’re going to throw three guys that can create off the dribble and try and beat you that way because they’re not going to stop anybody.”

Simmons raved about the deal from Toronto’s side, claiming Trent as a real asset.

“I was pretty shocked by the season Trent was having, 15 points a game, 41 games for the Blazers, taken seven and a half threes a game, he’s making 40 per cent of them, he’s the classic 3 and D guy.”

“It just seems like Portland is looking at this going we don’t have enough scoring. We have these two guys and a little bit of Kanter. And that’s it and Powell gives them a little more size and all that stuff but Trent’s a good piece, I thought that was really good trade for Toronto.”

“I thought Powell was going to end up being like a Fournier type pull back, where it’s like two seconds or a late first, something like that, Trent’s a real guy.”

You can listen to the podcast here. Simmons and Russillo open the discussion with the Portland and Toronto trade.