Around the NBA: Norman Powell to become free agent, A-Rod joins T-Wolves ownership group

Norman Powell declines player option and will become free agent

Norman Powell of the Portland Trail Blazers has declined his player option for the 2021-22 season, which means he will become a free agent on August 1, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

More from Haynes:

Portland Trail Blazers goaltender Norman Powell told Yahoo Sports he will decline his option to play for the 2021-22 season and become an unrestricted free agent on August 1.

The player’s option is worth $ 11.6 million and he is expected to receive a massive raise and a multi-year contract this summer.

The Trail Blazers acquired Powell from the Toronto Raptors on the NBA trade deadline last March. The 2020-21 season has been a career year for Powell as he progressed from a bench, type 6th man to a starting role. In the process, he averaged a career-high points per game at 18.6 and minutes per game at 32.0.

With six NBA seasons under his belt, Powell will arrive in free agency at 28 and possibly in his mid-prime. He will be one of the most wanted free agents at the guard post.

A-Rod, Marc Lore Approved As Sponsor With Minnesota Timberwolves

When you see a headline with Alex Rodriguez’s name on it, you usually expect news from MLB. However, the former slugger is wading through NBA waters. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rodriguez and Marc Lore have been approved as sponsors of the Minnesota Timberwolves by the NBA board of governors.

More Woj:

The NBA board of governors approved Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez as sponsors of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx in a vote today, sources told ESPN.

Lore and Rodriguez join Glen Taylor’s ownership group as part of a planned succession plan that includes a two-and-a-half-year control journey.

As I understand the situation from Woj’s reporting, Rodriguez and Lore (of Walmart’s fame and wealth) will gradually become full ownership of the team over a two-and-a-half-year process.

It should be noted that the Timberwolves would have a significant interest in acquiring Ben Simmons. While GMs work on the phone and do the legwork, owners usually have the final say on business approvals, especially for high profile and better paid players. The change in ownership structure may have an impact on whether the T-Wolves remain interested in Simmons.

NBA Draft Guests

We’re just over a week away from the 2021 NBA Draft, which takes place on July 29. Like many other aspects of life, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the usual way of doing things during the NBA Draft. But as many other aspects of life return to normal, so does the NBA Draft, with the league having rookies in attendance for the biggest night of their lives on July 29.

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the following 20 players received invitations to sit in the green room during the NBA Draft:

Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Kuminga, Scottie Barnes, Davion Mitchell, James Bouknight, Keon Johnson, Franz Wagner, Josh Giddey, Jalen Johnson, Corey Kispert, Moses Moody, Kai Jones, Alperen Sengun, Cameron Thomas , Ziaire Williams, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson.

What the NBA wants to avoid in these situations is having a player in the green room who could fall late in the draft. So, going through the roster of players above, keep in mind that it’s reasonable to conclude that many of these players will be gone by the time the Sixers make their choice to no. 28.

Roko Prkacin withdraws from 2021 NBA draft

According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Roko Prkacin withdrew his name from the 2021 NBA Draft.

More from Givony:

ESPN 100 prospect Roko Prkacin has removed his name from the 2021 NBA Draft, a source told ESPN. A somewhat surprising decision, but at just 18 years old, Prkacin will have a chance of being a high draft pick in 2022 with a solid season.

The ranking of Prkacin on the big boards has seen some variation. Sam Vecenie ranked Prkacin 25th in its last edition, while Givony mentions Prkacin in 36th. It’s possible for a team to bet on him between the middle and the end first, but it’s also possible that he’ll end up being selected for a position where he’s not even a lock on a guaranteed contract. At only 18 years old, I think this move gives Prkacin a good chance to build up his draft stock over the next year, maybe get into the lottery. Now he can sharpen his game a bit more and get another pro ball season under his belt in Europe before making the leap to the NBA.

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