The Toronto Raptors are in a downward spiral this season, which has many teams eyeing them for possible trades at the deadline in February. One Raptors player garnering a ton of interest is OG Anunoby, but it appears he’s not their most coveted trade candidate. That’s actually sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr, according to numerous NBA executives who spoke to HoopsHype.
“The current belief from those executives is Trent Jr. will opt out of his $18.8 million player option and enter unrestricted free agency this summer. Two executives told HoopsHype they believe Trent could earn $20 million or more if he entered unrestricted free agency. There’s skepticism amongst several front offices across the league that the Raptors would be willing to retain Trent Jr. if he eclipses the $20 million annual range.
“Recently, Trent Jr. was more efficient coming off the bench during a seven-game stretch where he averaged 18.3 points while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from downtown for a 117 offensive rating.”
So basically, numerous executives believe if Trent Jr wanted $20 million and upwards, the Raptors wouldn’t be willing to pay that number next summer. Perhaps they cash in now and move him in the new year instead of losing him for nothing in free agency?
The Raptors guard is enjoying a respectable campaign, averaging 16.9 points on 33.5% shooting from deep in 25 games. He’s started 18 times and is averaging 31.3 minutes per night. Trent Jr has definitely developed into a better player since coming to Toronto and could be a solid addition to a number of contenders who need shooting.
It all depends on where the Raps are in January. If they can get healthy and make a run at a playoff spot, perhaps the organization doesn’t make any moves. But, there is definitely an appeal to getting some draft capital and/or young pieces for a player like Gary Trent Jr.because, in all honesty, it’s not like Toronto is going to make a run at a title anytime soon.