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Trail Blazers’ Norman Powell declining player option

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Portland Trail Blazers guard Norman Powell will decline his $11.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season and become an unrestricted free agent, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Powell had until July 22 to decide on his player option and he will officially hit the free agent market on Aug. 1.

The Trail Blazers plan to make Powell their top priority, notes Haynes, but the 28-year-old is expected to have multiple suitors as one of the top free agent guards on the market.

Powell is coming off a career-best season where he averaged 18.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game in 69 games (32.0 minutes per game).

He also shot a career-high 41.1 percent from three-point.

The Trail Blazers acquired Powell from the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.

Powell becomes the third guard to decline a player option, joining Denver Nuggets’ Will Barton and Brooklyn Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie.

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