The New York Knicks have been extensively connected to Damian Lillard the past few weeks, despite the fact that the star point guard could easily end up staying in Portland for the remainder of his four-year contract extension. Nonetheless, there is another Trailblazer that could be of interest to the Knicks, and his name is Norman Powell.
At 28 years old, Powell is expected to earn $11.6 million during the 2021-22 season, but he has a player option this off-season that will give him the right to stick with Portland or test the open market.
The likely scenario is that Powell hits free agency looking for a payday, considering he earned 18.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and shot .477 from the field this past season. In addition, he hit .411% of his shots from three, over 6.0 attempts. Powell showed that he was a fantastic player, and given his alignments at shooting guard and small forward, his versatility gives him even more value.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report stated several months ago at the trade deadline during the 2020-21 season that the Knicks were considering trading for Powell:
“I think Norman Powell is gonna get 20-plus easily,” said the personnel evaluator. “He’s just a guy that can play with anybody. He doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. He’s a good defender, he’s a great athlete, he gets to the rim. You can play him at the 3, you can play him at the 2. He’s a great character guy.”
New York could pose the biggest threat to lure Powell away from the Pacific Northwest, as Thibodeau is considered a noted fan of the swingman. Even more so than Dinwiddie, a large list of suitors emerged for Powell ahead of the deadline, and he’s two years younger than Hardaway. He also fits the mold for what Miami is currently missing on the perimeter.
The Knicks have the funds to target a player like Powell, who is also a solid defender let alone an adequate scorer. Some might argue he has more potential to unlock, as the Knicks could easily roll over some of the money from their impending free agents to a player that can fill multiple roles.
There is a possibility that Norman earns upwards of $20 million per season, which might be a bit too rich for the Knicks who still want to target an elite point guard in FA.
Ultimately, the Knicks need a player who can create his own shots and knock them down efficiently. While he could be a bit pricey, there’s no avoiding his offensive prowess and the value he would bring to The Garden.
What do you think about Norman Powell? Should the Knicks consider him in free agency? Leave a comment below!