Trade Deadline Open Thread: Norman Powell a Blazer

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Cover Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

So, thanks for sticking around with me everyone. That was incredibly stressful, and it made the eulogy last night for Lowry a strange one. Still, very, very happy to have him in Toronto. I’m signing off, but thanks to everyone, and enjoy your weekend!

He’s staying!!!! It’s official, per Woj. So the Raptors traded Norman Powell, Terence Davis, and Matt Thomas for Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood, and two second-round picks. Not bad. More analysis to come.

3:10 pm: Victor Oladipo has been traded to the Miami Heat. So who’s left for Lowry? Folks, it looks like he’s staying.

OKAY. It’s officially 3:00 pm. Trades do leak in after the clock, but it seems — for now — that Kyle Lowry is remaining a Raptor. Just so you know, 3:00 is the deadline for making calls. If GMs are on the phone together at 3:00, they are still allowed all the time in the world to agree on a trade. So can’t unclench yet.

2:55 pm: Terence Davis has been traded to Sacramento for a future second-round pick, per Woj. There are a LOT a LOT of open roster spots right now…

2:43 pm: Now Brian Windhorst is reporting that the 76ers are back in the hunt for Lowry. I’m sure they never left.

2:40 pm: Folks. Twenty minutes. What are you doing to stay sane right now?

2:14 pm: Per Blake Murphy (!), the pick is actually not a future second, but Golden State’s 2021 second. That’s not a bad value pick!

2:09 pm: Per Shams, Matt Thomas has been traded to the Utah Jazz for a future second-round pick. No surprise, as he was initially expected to be in the rotation to start the year, as Nick Nurse said, and he has been out of favour for a while. Toronto opens another roster spot here, too. More coming, certainly.

2:05 pm: Per Shams, the Heat and Lakers remain in the Lowry hunt. No Herro and no Talen Horton-Tucker included in offers yet, which is probably the hold-up.

2:01 pm: One hour left. Strap in, folks. Also, the live show is now live!! Oren and Sahal will have guests throughout the afternoon, and they’re starting with the one and only Will Lou!!!

1:54 pm: As long as we have a spare moment:

1:30 pm: 

1:29 pm: Very, very quiet on the Lowry front. If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna be now. Seems like the bluster and negotiations-though-media are done.

1:07 pm: Woj just reported that the Sixers are out on the Lowry market. He very well may be staying.

12:55 pm: Some very brief analysis before more stuff. You can read my longer-form reaction here.

  • I’m really going to miss Norm. He’s been a Raptor as long as I’ve been covering the team.
  • Trent is almost as good as Powell. He is as good a shooter (almost), a much better defender, and a worse creator off the bounce.
    • Trent is also a restricted free agent, so Toronto gets an extended audition before they decide to pay him or not.
  • Toronto going for Trent, and not a pick, is a sign that they may be staying the course.
  • Which also means, the Raps still need a big. No matter what, this trade deadline isn’t done for Toronto.

12:48 pm: The first Raptors domino has fallen. Norman Powell is no longer a Raptor.

12:45 pm: Aaaand the Sixers have acquired George Hill, per Shams. The Lowry market shrinks.

12:40 pm: It feels like a lot has happened over the last half hour for Toronto. First, there was an insane amount of posturing around about the turn of noon. Both Raps and Sixers were leaking to a variety of sources, and it seemed like both were pretending not to be close, or were pretending to be closer than they were, depending on the leak. But the Heat and Lakers, I think, sound like fluff at the moment. It’s kind of just the Sixers, and the Raps are trying to conjure up false suitors to increase the price.

But then the rest of the league went bonanza on the Orlando Magic. GMs were complaining that the league was waiting for the Toronto dominos to fall, and then they just went ahead and did their business anyway. It could mean, to me, two things.

One option is that the Raptors might be staying pat. They might not have liked their offers and decided that they aren’t going to have a fire sale. Or, the Raptors are trading Lowry and Powell, but only the Sixers are a suitor, the rest of the league figured that out, and they went and took their business elsewhere. That doesn’t bode well for any possible return the Raptors might receive.

All in all, it feels like Toronto may not be getting huge assets, at this point in time. Fournier sets the market very low for Powell, and Lowry may not have the market that Toronto expected.

12:12 pm: So now Kyle Neubeck is reporting that the Sixers do not see themselves as leaders in the Lowry sweepstakes. So, you know, rumours don’t mean much, is what to take away from the last few hours.

12:01 pm: Welcome to the afternoon! Didn’t think we’d make it this long. I’ve drained a pot of coffee and have tapped my foot approximately 100000 times in the past one hour.

Oh, also, Michael Grange has now tweeted he thinks it’s the Heat? I’m guessing the Raps are just playing the offers off against each other, and no one really knows yet where he’s going. So, keep holding onto your pants. Three. More. Hours. Of. This.

11:52 am: Brian Windhorst just said on ESPN that Lowry is preparing to be traded to the 76ers.

11:35 am: Again per Woj (this guy is washing Shams today), the Magic are now trading Evan Fournier to the Celtics for two second-round picks. The cost is SMALL. One hopes it doesn’t impact the market for Norm. Honestly, I don’t get it, Fournier is an incredible player.

11:28 am: Grange continues:

11:24 am: Per Michael Grange, the Sixers are “on the one yard line” in a late push for Lowry.

11:04 am: The first big domino! Per Woj, the Chicago Bulls are acquiring Nikola Vucevic. He is extremely good, and this means the Bulls are making a real run at the playoffs. Toronto’s path to a rise up the standings just got significantly harder, which makes holding onto Powell or Lowry slightly less likely.

10:55 am: I’m back! Sorry about the pause there, folks. So here’s the situation. Per Grange, the Raptors brass is meeting in a conference room in Tampa right now to discuss options. The Lakers seem extremely eager to land Lowry, but their potential offer is so sparse that the Raptors would demand a third team to be involved. Meanwhile, the Heat continue to withhold Tyler Herro from their package. I don’t know if his inclusion would mean a deal is done, but it’s something at least the Raptors are weighing as they parse through offers. From the Philadelphia perspective, the Raptors sound like they’re demanding Thybulle, Maxey, and two first-round picks. A haul, indeed, but we’ll see if they manage to get any biters on a package of that caliber.

All this to say: the posturing remains real. Likely nothing that I wrote above is real, although the leaks have to be coming from somewhere. The news on Powell is quiet, but Toronto is likely waiting to decide Lowry’s future before they decide Powell’s. Both are intertwined, as I’m sure some of the same teams are offering for one player or the other, but not both.

9:47 am: Shams is reporting that the Heat, Sixers, and Lakers (what … do they have to offer of value?) are still very engaged on Lowry. However, I am off to the dog park where I’ll obsessively refresh my phone and sprint home if anything happens. Be back with you soon, folks. Stay stressed.

9:18 am: Just so you know, Sahal and Oren are going to be doing a live show at 2:00 pm ET on the trade deadline. They’ve been doing an awesome job on the Rap Up, and they’ll be breaking down the trade deadline in a different medium from this one. Make sure you check them out then.

8:54 am: This is apparently the time when teams start communicating again, more or less. Don’t expect anything to happen soon. In all likelihood, it’ll be at least three or four more hours before the big trades happen. So let’s hang out until then. Anyone have any pups at home? Mine is gonna be pissed when our walk in an hour is shorter than usual. I mean, like, PISSED.

8:10 am: I wrote about last night’s game! It was truly one of the most perfect moments I can remember, in a sea of chaos for the season. No trades yet, so take a moment to enjoy.

In Kyle Lowry and the all-women broadcast, Toronto had a perfect night amidst the storm

7:20 am: Gooood morning! Hello and welcome to this extremely early edition of the trade deadline open thread. I’m not usually up this early, and my dog was so excited that she just chewed up my bathrobe. Exciting times in puppy high.

To catch you up, Toronto is basically the belle of the ball this trade deadline. With an available Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell, any contender that wants guard play is calling off the hook. Fortunately nothing happened during the night on the Raptors’ front, so we’ll all be together for whatever happens. My advice? Make some coffee or tea, get some kleenex ready, and have The Notebook or whatever film is best for cryin’ ready to go.

On the asset side, Toronto has apparently turned down the Miami Heat’s Duncan Robinson + stuff in exchange for Lowry. Also apparently — I’ll get this out of the way now, I don’t have sources (yet!) — the Philadelphia 76ers have yet to offer Tyrese Maxey. Approximately half the league has called about Powell, who should also fetch plenty of assets. Perhaps even more than Lowry, given their respective career directions. The hold-up now is that Lowry wants a handshake agreement on a contract extension wherever he goes, and the entire league is waiting for the Lowry domino to fall. Exciting times in puppy high indeed.


  • This piece by Tim W. detailing why trades are necessary and what could be available.
  • This explanation by Oren why the Raptors should trade for Lonzo Ball.
  • This podcast between Samson and Blake on the deadline.

Completed Trades:

  • Per Woj, the Hawks traded Rajon Rondo to the Clips for Lou Williams. Weird.
  • Per Woj, the Raptors have traded Norman Powell to the Portland Trailblazers for Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr.
  • Per Woj, the Sixers have acquired George Hill from the Thunder.
  • Washington is trading Troy Brown and Mo Wagner to Chicago for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson, per Woj.
  • Shams finally got one! Looks like Aaron Gordon to the Nuggets.
  • Per Woj, the Boston Celtics are acquiring Evan Fournier.
  • Per Woj, the Orlando Magic are trading Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls.
  • Our boy Delon Wright was traded to the Sacramento Kings for our boy Cory Joseph and two second-round picks. Both teams better treat both players with the respect they deserve.
  • The Denver Nuggets acquired JaVale McGee from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Hartenstein and two second-round picks.

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