Per Woj, Norman Powell has been traded to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood. Powell will be missed, but Portland is a wonderful, stable landing spot for a player of his caliber. He’ll chase the playoffs there.
Trent is the real centerpiece of the deal from Toronto’s perspective. He’s scoring 15 points per game this season on 40 percent shooting from deep on a huge number of attempts. He is almost an equal shooter to Powell, although he’s far from an equal creator off the bounce. He is a significantly better defender than Powell, and Toronto’d issues this season have started on the defensive end, not on offense. Trent will help there.
He’s also only 22 years old and an upcoming restricted free agent. Toronto gets an extended look at him before deciding if they’ll pay him in free agency. He has enormous potential as a core piece, and he’ll slot perfectly next to Toronto’s stars in Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby.
Hood, by the way, is a bench scorer. He’s having an extremely down year, but he can create for himself, which isn’t true of anyone currently coming off the bench for Toronto. He projects to fill a need.
Toronto still doesn’t have a starting center, which is far more important in terms of solving defensive issues than acquiring Hood. And Lowry remains a Raptor, which may not be the case in a few hours. So no matter what, there are moves left to be made. But in Trent, the Raptors acquired a very talented player in the present with huge future potential, and who will likely cost far less in free agency than Powell. A nice bit of magic to improve in the short- and long-term.