Raptors Starter Is the Latest Trade Target on the Brooklyn Nets’ Radar

Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell

Getty Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Norman Powell fight for a rebound against Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo.

With the NBA’s trade deadline fast approaching, teams are using these last few days to hear out any serious offers from just about anyone across the league. One such team is the Brooklyn Nets. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Toronto Raptors’ Norman Powell is one player that they are interested in making a deal for.

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Powell Has Steadily Improved Every Year

Powell has spent his entire six-year career in Toronto. Prior to 2019, he was putting up mediocre numbers, averaging no more than 10 points a game.

However, after superstar forward Kawhi Leonard left to join the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency, many Raptors players including Powell realized the call to action, putting up a then career-high 16.0 points per game on 49.5% shooting from the field.

This year, the Raptors’ starting forward is averaging 19.5 points a game, and if he keeps up his spectacular play, could have a 50-40-90 season. Powell is currently shooting 49.5% from the field, 43.4% from the 3-point line and 86.8% from the free-throw line.

Nets Would Have To Part  With Dinwiddie To Land Powell

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been out with a partially torn ACL injury since just the third game of the season.

After receiving reconstructive surgery on his partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, it was ruled that Dinwiddie could be out for the rest of the season. While reports and progress videos have shown that the six-year veteran might be able to make a return this year, head coach Steve Nash has made it abundantly clear that he is not looking to rush anything.

“We all know that [Dinwiddie is] a hard worker, he’s incredibly strong, and heals quickly,” Nash said before the Nets’ game against the Warriors last month via Nets Wire.

“But at the same time — like the Kevin situation where he had those extra months to adapt to playing — if [Dinwiddie] were to come back this year, he wouldn’t have that. There’s always a balance to be struck. There’s always a measure to be taken. And the number one priority for me is that he has a great rest of his career and is healthy, and I hope that’s a byproduct of his rehab.”

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Dinwiddie & Powell Had Similar Career Trajectory

Both Powell and Dinwiddie were drafted in 2014.

Dinwiddie started his career with the Detroit Pistons where, like Powell, he had a small role and thus did not produce much. However, his move to Brooklyn garnered high expectations and a much larger contribution than his role with the Pistons. He would go on to score 12.6 points a game in his second year as a Net, along with a career-high 6.6 assists per game at the time.

Unlike Dinwiddie, Powell was a part of the 2019 Finals winning team and has experienced an extended stay in the postseason. And while both are technically guards, Powell has the ability to play a little bit of forward and get stops on the defensive end. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Powell played 43% of his possessions at small forward this year.

The addition of Powell could be a big boost to a Nets roster that already could be NBA Finals-bound.

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