The Portland Trail Blazers entered this offseason without any real cap space but with the strong suggestion by Damian Lillard that they should get to work upgrading the roster around him if they wanted him to stay longterm.
The NBA Draft and the start of NBA free agency came and went without any trades or significant moves, as the Blazers stood pat with what seemed to be a plan of running it back and making moves on the margins. The first of those was to bring in Cody Zeller on a one-year deal to provide some center depth and hope that he can finally stay healthy for a season.
From there, they locked up their biggest free agent in Norman Powell, giving him a hefty five-year, $190 million contract.
Free agent G Norman Powell has agreed to a five-year, $90M deal to return to the Portland Trail Blazers, his agent Thaddeus Foucher of @Wasserman tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Free agent guard Norman Powell and the Portland Trail Blazers have reached an agreement on a fully guaranteed five-year, $90 million deal, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 3, 2021
Powell himself confirmed the deal shortly after on Twitter.
UNDERSTAND THE GRIND‼️‼️.. LETS RUN IT BACK 🌹CITY
— norman powell (@npowell2404) August 3, 2021
Powell was very good for the Blazers after they acquired him at the deadline for Gary Trent Jr., and all reports indicated they would make re-signing him their top priority this offseason. They stayed true to that, paying him handsomely – but now the question lingers as to whether Zeller, Powell, and whatever they do with their mid-level exception will be enough to make Lillard happy. Trade rumors will continue to swirl as the rest of free agency takes shape and teams know what they still need to address, but for now, it’s been a rather uneventful day in Portland, for better or worse.