Norman Powell is ready to make an immediate impact with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The newest Blazer! pic.twitter.com/supAjMMBKA- Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 26, 2021
A little over 24 hours after first reports indicated that Powell would be on his way to Portland at the trade deadline, the 27-year-old is set to make his first appearance as a Trail Blazer when the team visits the Orlando Magic Friday night.
Not only will Powell be making his debut but he will also be doing so in a starting role, per Casey Holdahl, who the team confirmed with a retweet from its official Twitter account.
Norman Powell will play and start in tonight's game in Orlando- Casey Holdahl (@CHold) March 26, 2021
It is unclear whether or not Powell will be a full-time starter, as Friday he is starting in place of Damian Lillard, who has been ruled out with a left knee contusion suffered in Portland's win over the Miami Heat Thursday night. Powell should feel comfortable in a starting role as he is averaging 22.8 points on .529/.452/.871 shooting splits in 31 starts this season.
In his first media availability as a member of the Blazers, Powell shared how he found out about the deal and went through the emotions of leaving the Toronto Raptors facility in Tampa to join his new team, which wasn't too far up the road in Orlando.
Powell said he was on a call with an agent telling him nothing was happening, "and 30 seconds later, I got a call from Bobby."- (((Eric Koreen))) (@ekoreen) March 26, 2021
On his new team, Powell shared that he has a pre-existing relationship with CJ McCollum, familiarity with Anfernee Simons and is a fan of the games of Carmelo Anthony and Lillard,
Powell says his trainer has a close relationship with CJ McCollum and he's worked out with Anfernee Simons before. He's also a big Melo fan and has studied Dame. So the adjustment sounds smooth.- Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) March 26, 2021
Powell, 27, has the ability to opt-out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent this offseason. For now, he'll be looked upon to bring a boost to a Trail Blazers team that is currently 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the West's No. 4 seed and is working to return players to the lineup for the season's stretch run.
Starting alongside Powell on Friday is big man Jusuf Nurkic, who has not played in over two months. At full strength, Portland will look to be a serious contender in the West.
Stick with NBA.com for more updates on Powell's performance as a member of the Trail Blazers.
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