Raptors sign Norman Powell

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Norman Powell had one heck of a summer-league dunk:

Now, the No. 46 pick in the 2015 NBA draft has something even better – a contract with the Raptors.

Raptors release:

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have signed guard Norman Powell.

 

The Raptors would have done well by dipping into their cap room to give Powell a three-year, partially guaranteed contract. Doing so would ensure Toronto can have full Bird Rights (plus matching rights) on Powell in three years if he pans out. (The minimum-salary exception is for up to two years.)

I don’t think Toronto was signing someone better with that space at this point, anyway. So why not get that potential advantage down the road with Powell?

Powell has looked good in summer league – getting to the basket, defending on the perimeter and generally just showing off his athleticism. But he hasn’t dispelled doubts about the shaky outside shot he showed over four years at UCLA. Really, summer league isn’t enough to confirm his perceived strengths. But it’s at least better to play well than play poorly.

With DeMar DeRozan, Terrance Ross and DeMarre Carroll, there’s no clear path to Powell earning regular-season minutes immediately. Hopefully for their sake, the Raptors gave themselves a few years to find a role for him.

He might earn one eventually.