Now that the Trail Blazers have officially announced Chauncey Billups as the franchise’s next head coach and as Billups begins to put his staff together, the Blazers are looking to elevate their play on both ends of the floor.
And one such player they will need to retain to help do that is veteran wing Norman Powell.
Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon discussed the Blazers' biggest offseason priorities on the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with an emphasis on keeping Powell.
“If he doesn’t stay they’re screwed,” Sheldon said. “If they don’t resign him they’re screwed.”
As for Channing, he doesn’t believe that Powell will stay in Portland and isn’t sure that the Blazers will commit that much money to the 28-year-old.
Portland traded Powell at the deadline in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.
The Blazers knew at that time that the seven-year veteran would most likely opt out of his current contract in order to get a bigger pay-out and long-term deal in free agency.
But the team has said multiple times they brought Powell in this season to keep him long-term.
Sheldon continued, “You’re going to have to commit… I’m sorry but if Damian Lillard has any chance of legitimately competing for a championship, Neil Olshey cannot look him in the eye and say, ‘we’re doing everything possible,’ while also then in the same breath letting Norman Powell go sign somewhere else for more money.”
In 27 regular games with the Blazers last season, Powell averaged 17.0 points on 44.3 percent shooting, along with 1.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds. Portland found a lot of success with the three-guard lineup of Powell, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Listen to the entire Talkin’ Blazers Podcast right here.