An 11-9 record and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference may not feel like a major accomplishment on the surface, but for a Toronto Raptors squad that has been decimated with injuries since the season’s takeoff, that is extremely impressive. OG Anunoby is in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, while Scottie Barnes continues to look more nuanced on an NBA floor.

Nick Nurse has this group of lengthy and gritty guys hustling like every game is life or death, though it looks like not everyone is buying in. Nurse recently scrutinized Gary Trent Jr. for his lack of deflections this season, explaining, “We want him to be a disruptor. He kinda fits us if he does that, and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t fit us.”

With that said, it might be time for the Raptors to consider trading Trent.

Raptors Trade: Gary Trent Jr.

That Nurse quote definitely sounds more “doom and gloom” than it really is for Gary Trent Jr. A trade this early in the season is unlikely, but Trent definitely finds himself on the hot seat after just a quarter of the NBA season.

Trent deflections are not the only statistical number that has dipped, as his scoring, efficiency, and assist numbers are all down from his 18.3 point per game season last year. He’s shooting just 31 percent from three and 40 percent from the field. Despite never being an inefficient scorer inside the arc, Trent has generally settled into lineups as a “three-and-D” glue guy. Unfortunately, he has not excelled at either end this season.

Nick Nurse prefers to play lengthy, switchable forwards to hound opposing teams and muck offensive strategies, hence the increase in minutes for the old reliable, Thaddeus Young. If Nurse continues to start Young at center, Nurse could slide Anunoby to the shooting guard spot and bring Trent off the bench, a role he might be better suited for. However, constantly switching a player’s role can often do more harm than good, making them overthink the game rather than letting it come to them.

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If Nurse cannot find the right role for Trent, general manager Masai Ujiri could look to move the swingman for a center with a legitimate paint presence. The Raptors have mastered the art of switching, but they are often vulnerable to opposing teams crashing the glass. On the other end, they struggle to generate offensive rebounds against bulkier centers in certain matchups.

Trent Jr. has allowed his shooting slump to drift into his defensive effort and awareness, a trait that simply will not slide in a Nick Nurse-led team. His inability to attack the rim forces him to jump over the mental hurdles of a shooting slump purely through his jumper, but the middling, injury-plagued Raptors cannot afford to give Trent Jr. the shots he needs to get over his yips.

Ujiri should begin to scour the trade market for potential takers for the 23 year-old, prioritizing rim protection and rebounding in their search.