Toronto Raptors: What would a new Gary Trent Jr. contract look like right now?

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 28: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 28: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors decided to get younger at the trade deadline without sacrificing quality, trading Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers in a trade that brought Gary Trent Jr. over to Toronto 41 games into his third season, the exact same length of time it took Gary Trent Sr. to get traded up north. Go figure.

Powell is starting to morph into one of the game’s best scorers, but he will almost assuredly opt out of his player option in pursuit of a bigger deal elsewhere. Trent is a restricted free agent, but he will assuredly get a noteworthy bag this offseason.

Trent, who is currently averaging 15.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game on 42% shooting and 38% from beyond the arc with Toronto, is almost a clone of Powell, as nearly all of his value lies in his ability to shoot the three at an above-average rate.

Trent, whom Raptors fans already love, appears to be a better perimeter defender than Powell, and the fact that the former second-round pick just turned 22 could be a sign that his best basketball is still ahead of him. How will Masai Ujiri handle that come contract time?

Toronto Raptors: What is the price tag for Gary Trent Jr.?

A deal that pays Powell, who is killing it in Portland, $21 million per season is by no means out of the question. That contract would be above what the likes of Gary Harris, Joe Harris, and Bogdan Bogdanovic have in their contracts, but it would be below the likes of Buddy Hield and Jaylen Brown.

Players making somewhere in the $15 million-$17 million range include Evan Fournier, Caris LeVert, and Malik Beasley. While all three of them have had much more productive NBA careers than Trent to this point, that is likely where the higher end of his value lies.

The only thing that could make it tough for Trent to earn a substantial deal this free agency period is his relative lack of pedigree. He was a second-round pick just three years ago, and this year is the only season in which he has averaged double-figures.

The Raptors could get a Powell replacement in Trent for around $6 million less per season, which could be used to get the Raptors another bench scorer or a big man that can actually be trusted to score some clutch points.

With Lowry coming off of the books and potentially freeing up tons of wiggle room, the Raptors could build a contender without breaking the bank for an enormous Powell deal.

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