Raptors Notes: Brown, Powell, Trent, Barrett

With trade buzz building, multifaceted new Raptors guard Bruce Brown seems like an enticing plug-and-play option for a variety of rival clubs, writes Mark W. Sanchez of The New York Post. Brown’s former Nuggets teammates recently spoke in reverential tones of his application as a utility player.

“I think he can fit any team,” wing Christian Braun remarked.

“Coach [Michael Malone] called him the Swiss Army knife — I think that’s spot-on,” Denver guard Jamal Murray said. “He can bring it up. He can get to the rim. He can shoot it enough. He can defend their best player. Run in transition.”

Brown has been linked to the Knicks as of late, as well as the Lakers. As a versatile wing who can fill multiple positional slots on the hardwood for a given team, the 6’4″ vet could be an excellent fit within Tom Thibodeau‘s gritty system.

There’s more out of Toronto:

  • The decision to trade former Raptors wing Norman Powell to the Trail Blazers in 2021 is beginning to look like another epic miscalculation for a floundering Toronto front office, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. As Grange notes, the Raptors opted to offload Powell rather than risk having to pay him a pricey new deal in free agency that summer. In the trade, Toronto took back the younger Gary Trent Jr., whom the club was able to retain for less money. However, Powell has only continued to improve, while Trent has plateaued a bit.
  • The Raptors would like to see newly acquired young swingman RJ Barrett develop beyond his current heavy focus on scoring the rock, per Eric Koreen of The Athletic. “With (Barrett), it’s very clear that he has a lot of room to improve,” first-year Toronto head coach Darko Rajakovic said of the Canadian. “Obviously, the Olympic Games are there in the middle of the summer, as well. I think that’s going to be a great opportunity for him to play on the big (stage). … I think he’s going to have great opportunities this summer to take (his) game to the next level.”
  • In case you missed it, two-way player Jontay Porter has managed to carve out legitimate rotation time on head coach Rajakovic’s roster, and has impressed during his meaningful minutes.
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