The Toronto Raptors have traded Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Welcome to #RipCity, @npowell2404! https://t.co/HXRhASLefB pic.twitter.com/zy0bPrKmfu- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 25, 2021
Powell was essential to the Raptors this season, enjoying the best year of his career, averaging 19.5 points while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from 3-point range. The prolific scoring wing has taken that title to another level this season, going for six 30-plus-point performances (including a career-high 43-point outing) despite only notching 30 points four times in his career leading up to this year.
Powell has been a Raptor his whole career thus far, being acquired by the franchise in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night in 2015.
After six strong seasons and one NBA championship with Toronto, take a look back on some of Powell's most memorable moments in a Raptors uniform.
Career-high 43 points vs. Detroit Pistons
Career-high 43 POINTS and 8 THREES for Norman Powell (@npowell2404). 🔥 pic.twitter.com/2ydiPJCJc6- NBA (@NBA) March 18, 2021
On March 17, 2021, Powell erupted for a career-high 43 points in a close loss to the Pistons.
It was the third time this season that he had crafted a new career-high in scoring - something that well represents just how hot Powell has been this year. It was the first time in his career that he had eclipsed the 40-point mark, and the most interesting part about it is that he only needed 18 shots to achieve the feat.
Going 14-for-18 (77.8%) from the field and 8-for-12 (66.7%) from 3-point range, Powell was dialled in. While he only had three rebounds and didn't record an assist, steal or block, the 27-year-old wing did exactly what was being asked of him: getting buckets.
Being so close to the moment he was traded, this will likely be a lasting memory of Powell's time in Toronto.
2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Game 6 vs. Boston Celtics
While OG Anunoby's game-winning buzzer-beater in Game 3 gave the Raptors a pulse in the series, it was Powell's performance down the line in Game 6 that gave Toronto a fighting chance for a Game 7.
This wasn't a typical Powell performance where he's hot from the get-go and all of his shots were falling. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
Powell only had seven points at the half while shooting 3-for-7 from the field and 1-for-3 from beyond the arc. He didn't make much of an impact in the second half either, scoring just one point without registering a single shot attempt.
Luckily for Powell, this contest needed two overtimes to decide the outcome.
He scored five of the Raptors eight points in the first overtime, forcing a second extra period. In double-OT, Powell caught a flame, scoring 10 points on a perfect 2-for-2 from the field, 1-for-1 from 3 and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line to force a Game 7.
Toronto would eventually fall in a hard-fought, close Game 7, but without Powell's 2OT hot streak in Game 6, the series may have never gotten to that point.
2017 Eastern Conference First Round: Game 5 vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Back in 2017, the Raptors found themselves in a tough first-round series with a young Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. After each team failed to perfectly defend home court, entering Game 5 with the series tied at 2-2, No. 3-seed Toronto was in danger of being upset.
Powell wasn't exactly a household name at this point, only averaging 8.4 points per game on the season in just his second year in the league. His role fluctuated on this 2017 roster, going from just five minutes of playing time in Game 1, to a "DNP-Coach's Decision" in Game 2, to less than 15 minutes in Game 3, followed by three-straight starts to close out the series.
In just the second playoff start of his career, Powell stepped up in a big way to give the Raptors an essential win in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead.
Toronto entered the half with a slim nine-point lead before Powell's 12-point third-quarter outburst completely altered the trajectory of the game, allowing the Raptors to take a much more comfortable 17-point lead into the fourth quarter. In the final frame, he'd throw down two ridiculous dunks to truly put an exclamation point on the contest.
He scored a team-high 25 points on the night, catching fire from 3-point range, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from deep.
Toronto would go on to win the series before being swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round.
2016 Eastern Conference First Round: Game 5 dunk vs. Indiana Pacers
Raptors fans won't ever forget this moment from Playoff Powell 😤- Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) March 25, 2021
(📹: @NBA) pic.twitter.com/fa1aj3kOid
As a rookie second-round pick, Powell's minutes were inconsistent during the 2015-16 season. After going for an at-the-time career-high 30 points in the final game of the regular season, he proved he'd be worth a look for playing time if the Raptors needed a spark in the postseason.
In the fourth quarter of a Game 5 first-round matchup against the Indiana Pacers, with the series tied at 2-2, Powell came up with a steal and electric fast break finish to tie the game and send Raptors' faithfuls into a frenzy.
He only had 10 points and two steals, but this one particular play gave Toronto the juice it needed to change the game's momentum and come away with a series-swinging victory.
Dunk on Anthony Davis
Don't sleep on Powell's ability to put opposing players on a poster!
Davis was Second Team All-Defense in 2017, averaging 2.2 blocks per game. That didn't stop Powell from casually rising up and slamming on him, creating one of his best highlights during his time with the Raptors.
Dunk on Rodions Kurucs
ON HIS HEADTOP pic.twitter.com/GFXKqKVWEc- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 19, 2020
While this isn't thrown down with the same ferocity as the Davis dunk, this type of dunk in a playoff game is still nasty. Powell posterizes Rodions Kurucs in Game 2 of the first round of the 2020 Eastern Conference Playoffs, letting out a loud scream to get the Raptors going.
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