Two Trail Blazers players face important decisions regarding their current contracts in the weeks ahead. Norman Powell and Derrick Jones Jr. possess player options in their current contracts, a feature that could allow them to test the open market as unrestricted free agents this summer.
Earlier this week, HoopsHype contributor Yossi Gozlan delivered predictions for all the players that have options to navigate prior to free agency. For Powell, Gozlan predicted that the former Raptors wing would opt out to test the open water.
Norman Powell has become a very reliable offensive player over the past two seasons. His current contract was the maximum extension amount he was eligible for at the time, which is significantly higher than the minimum salary he made in his first three seasons. He has already outperformed the value of his current deal, and the Trail Blazers will be in the luxury tax if they re-sign him to what should likely be around double his current annual salary. Letting him walk after trading Gary Trent Jr. for him seems like a non-starter. Most teams with cap space have theoretical fits for Powell.
Powell, who turned 28 years old in May, averaged 17 points per game in 27 outings with the Blazers last season. The final year of Powell’s contract, that is a player option, is set at $11.6 million.
For Jones, Gozlan predicted that the former Heat forward will opt in for the 2021-22 season. Gozlan explained that Jones could regain his footing after Portland’s coaching change.
Derrick Jones Jr.’s $9.7 million player option will come in handy for him after falling out of Terry Stotts’ rotation. With Chauncey Billups now the new head coach, Jones Jr. could have a new opportunity to be utilized correctly.
If Jones does opt in, he could become an important trade piece for the Blazers. In his first year in Portland, Jones started in 43 contests and averaged 6.8 points per game.
You can read Gozlan’s complete list of predictions at HoopsHype.