Now that the sample sizes of the post-deadline moves have increased, ESPN assembled a panel of NBA experts to deliver their thoughts on the transactions that unfolded. For the Portland Trail Blazers, their high-profile swap of Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood for Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell earned a modest nod in the section devoted to “underrated” roster moves.
ESPN analyst Tim Bontemps explained that both the Blazers and Raptors have benefitted from the deadline deal that transpired last month.
The Norman Powell-Gary Trent Jr. swap is underrated in terms of how nicely it is working out for both teams. Trent is a guy who can grow with Toronto long term, while Powell has slotted in perfectly alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, giving the Blazers another dependable scoring option in the playoffs.
In 14 games with the Blazers (all starts), Powell is averaging 34.1 minutes, 17.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. In Toronto, Trent Jr. has stepped into a feature role with the Raptors. The former Duke standout is averaging 32.2 minutes and 16.8 points per game. Earlier this month, Trent erupted for a 44-point night in victory over the Cavs.
You can read all the analysis from ESPN’s panel by clicking here.