In 2015 the 5th seed Washington Wizards beat the 4th seed Toronto Raptors 4-0 in the first round. This was the second consecutive year making the playoffs for the Raptors. Both ended in a first round exit. The Wizards sweep forced the Raptors to update the roster. Norman Powell at UCLAThe Raptors wasted no time. At the 2015 draft the franchise picked up Delon Wright with the 20th pick and made a move. Toronto traded Greivis Vásquez to Milwaukee for the 46th pick as well as a 2017 protected first round pick. The 46th pick turned into UCLA senior Norman Powell.

Powell averaged a team-high 16.4 points in his final year at UCLA. He selected to the All-PAC-12 1st team and his leadership made him a finalist for the Senior CLASS award. His growth over the course of his senior year which made him perfect for a competitive Raptors squad.

Norman Powell: Summer League Sensation

 

Norman Powell Summer League Block
Rookie Norman Powell in Summer League

In Summer League Powell made the league take notice. Producing 18.3 points on 50.9% shooting and 44.4% from deep alongside 4.3 rebounds secured Norman a spot on the All-NBA Summer League 2015 First-Team. Powell proved himself to be an athletic finisher in the lane and his defence was solid. While in need of some work, his drive-and-kick game left the Raptors staff hopeful as did his three-point shot.

Norman Powell: The Rookie

 

Toronto was ambitious. Norman Powell was to be the Raptors reserve shooting guard. Despite his impressive Summer League showcase the regular season was a slow grind for Powell. It took Terence Ross and Demarre Carroll getting injured for the Norm to get minutes in a wing heavy Toronto roster and it took until his 28th game for the Rookie scorer to break 10 points.

He showed definite promise in the last 12 games of the season. Over that stretch he averaged 14.3 points per game on 51.7% shooting and 52% from deep while he shot 80% on 3.3 free throw attempts per contest. In the final game of the season he had a 30 piece against the Brooklyn Nets. That 30 point performance was a career high that would stand until his 33 point performance against the Orlando Magic on November 29th 2019.

Norman Powell: Through the Years

While Norman Powell may not have become a household name quite yet to the Raptors and to Raptors fans he means a lot and is a staple of the organization. Norman Powell has been one of the most consistent sources of offence for the contemporary Raptors. He’s a fan favourite and has had his moments in the sun, the biggest of which being his 19 point performance in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in last year’s playoffs. Without Powell the Raptors very well lose that game and find themselves down 3-0 against a talented Bucks team.

Understand the Grind

Norman Powell has never been the sexy pick. A senior entering the draft. A mid second round pick. A role player. But he has always impressed. One of the hardest workers in the room, if not the hardest working. He is the second longest tenured player on a team who’s fanbase adores him.

He is a NBA Champion.

The scariest part is, at just 26 years old, he’s just entering the prime of his basketball career. Raptors fans have good things to look forward to coming from Stormin’ Norman Powell.

Norman Powell’s Statistics over his career