In less than a week, Trail Blazers newcomer Norman Powell has made a positive impression on fans in Portland and earned a spot in coach Terry Stotts’ starting rotation. On Wednesday, Powell delivered a long-form feature in The Players’ Tribune that reflected on his time in Toronto and the journey ahead.
When it came to the trade deadline, Powell explained that it caught him off guard. But he did acknowledge that his upcoming free agency and the Raptors’ struggles set the stage for a potential trade.
I wouldn’t say I had NO idea a trade might be on the table. I understand the way things work — and I knew my situation, as well as the team’s. I’m coming up on free agency. We were 11th in the East. I’m in a position where I can help a contender (and I’ll do that). They’re in a position where maybe they want to get younger (and they did that).
Powell then fondly looked back at his time with the Raptors and highlighted the bonds he made with teammates. Along with that, Powell delivered a message to his new team and fans.
I just wanted to make that clear here, real quick, up front.
This is an article for my Toronto people, mostly — but before I go any further, I feel like I need to say a word to my new people in Portland for a minute.
Blazers fans, if you’re reading this: I’m dialed IN.
I think it’s a great spot for me with this group.
I love that we’re going for it — and I love that the team went out and got me because we’re going for it.
Thanks for what’s already been a warm welcome.
Let’s get to work.
In two outings with the Blazers, Powell has averaged 31.5 minutes and 17.5 points per game. Prior to joining the Blazers, Powell played five and half seasons with the Raptors—a stint that included Toronto’s title run to the title in the 2019 postseason.
After today’s game in Detroit, Powell and the Blazers return to Portland to host the Bucks on Friday.
You can read Powell’s full feature at The Players’ Tribune.