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Rumor: Toronto guard Norman Powell drawing trade interest

Vincent Goodwill sees the Knicks as a better fit for Lonzo Ball than if he were traded to the Clippers.

Teams calling the Raptors to ask about Kyle Lowry’s availability in a trade are getting shot down.

However, when that conversation shifts to Lowry’s backcourt mate Norman Powell, the trade talks get more interesting. Here is what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on SportsCenter (hat tip to Bleacher Report).

“A name that has really emerged in the last few days as I talk to league executives: Norman Powell from Toronto, who is having a career season, averaging almost 20 points, shooting 45 percent from three-point range, had a 40-point game last week. About to be a free agent, the Raptors trying to decide what to do going forward this season and into the future, so Norman Powell could be a surprise name that could help a contender in a late deal this week.”

Powell has thrived since moving into the starting lineup 25 games ago. As a starter he is averaging 23.1 points a game, is shooting 46.5% from three, and has a 68.5 true shooting percentage — he has been a bright spot in a down year in Toronto.

A lot of teams could use a two-guard/wing like that, especially one with playoff and championship experience (Powell has a ring with the Raptors).

Powell is making $10.9 million this season and has a player option for $11.6 million next season that he is widely expected to decline because he will make more than that — and get a three- or four-year deal — on the open market. Any team trading for him will have to pay up this summer, giving the 27-year-old UCLA product starter money. That may not slow some teams either with cap space or a hole at the two-guard spot, but it’s a concern. Toronto may want to re-sign Powell, but they are already paying eight figures a year to Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby, plus Lowry is a free agent this summer and the face of the franchise.

Add Powell to your list of names to watch as the trade deadline approaches Thursday.