This is the first year of Norman “Normal Powenn” Powell’s shiny new 4-year, 42 million dollar contract. 10 million dollars per year isn’t looking as bad for him as it did last year, when he was mysteriously sucking really large eggs. The Raptors don’t especially need him to be good, since they have talent in a lot of the other crevices in their roster (they were digging around under the couch cushions and found a perfectly fine Malcolm Miller to give a few minutes to tonight and he even hit two threes). But when you’re paying a guy that much, you sorta want him to be at least decent.
This year, I’d say he is. He has re-found himself after a tough year previous, and has returned somewhat to the form that got him that big contract in the first place. His shooting percentages are all at career highs, at least. I haven’t watched enough Raptors games to really know how he’s doing on the court. But his stats look good, and good-looking stats are usually the first step to being a player that is actually good.
There was a time when I considered Norman Powell and Dwight Powell to be about the same in quality. That time is long past, as I have left it behind in the time-machine that is my body that travels forward in time at exactly one second per second. Dwight has been a key bench player for the Mavericks for a few years now, while even with Powell’s improved play I doubt the Raptors would miss him too much if he suddenly disappeared to join OJ Mayo in Nepal or wherever.