Norman Powell, SG/SF
Previous Team: Portland Trailblazers
Key Stats: 18.6 PPG, 1.2 STLPG, 41.1% 3P, 87.1% FT
Powell’s form in Portland was not bad, but it was certainly uninspired considering how he left Toronto. Last season Powell was signed to a contract comparable to Josh Richardson’s, but unlike Richardson, Powell was incredibly efficient last season with good volume shooting numbers.
Powell doesn’t provide the playmaking ability of the other three options on this list, but he is likely a comparable defender to Mike Conley. (That makes him the second best defender on this list?) It’s unclear what will happen in Portland this offseason as Damian Lillard is expected to be unloaded. This could have serious implications as it relates to Powell’s future with the team.
He has yet to opt-in on his player option that would give him over $11 million a year. There is a legitimate case to make that he opts and chases a total likely twice as much per year. NBA teams have stopped over thinking paying good, efficient volume shooters in an offensive league. (Last season, Bogdan Bogdanovic signed to an average annual salary of $18m. While not a better playmaker, Powell is a more efficient shooter and better defender.)
Powell would give the Mavericks their highly coveted wing player they have sought after for so long and forces a competition between Dorian Finney-Smith and him; a competition I expect Powell to win. You could also play Powell as a shooting guard and he gives you more length on defense than Tim Hardaway Jr previously provided.
*It sounds like I want to get rid of Hardaway Jr, but I can’t definitively say I want him gone. His shooting is incredibly value, but his lack of playmaking seriously hurts the Mavericks.*
The Mavericks have two important decision to make in regards to player options of Tim Hardaway Jr and Josh Richardson. If both players opt-in, $30 million plus will be given to these two ultimately preventing the signing of players like Conley and DeRozan. If they take both contracts off the tab, then the opportunities multiply ten-fold.
But until then…