The Toronto Raptors hitched themselves to Gary Trent Jr. for the next few seasons, as the former Portland Trail Blazers guard who was acquired by Masai Ujiri in the Norman Powell swap signed a three-year, $51 million contract this offseason.
While Trent is still just 22 years old and has been a bit of a work in progress on defense, he can shoot the lights out and finish at the rim when he gets into a groove, and Toronto is banking on a high volume of shots alongside Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet unlocking his offensive star power.
The Raptors needed someone with his ability to snipe from long range, as the combination of both an Eastern Conference full of quality guards and the Raptors putting a ton of emphasis on forwards like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam means that Trent has a ton on his place this season.
Where does Trent rank among starting shooting guards in the East? Using each team’s projected starter off-ball, let’s see where Trent holds up based on what he’s shown us recently.
Where does Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. rank among East SGs?
15. Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
Hayes will likely secede a good chunk of the ball-handling duties to rookie sensation Cade Cunningham, and that’s not ideal for a player that looked totally overwhelmed by the speed of the NBA game as a rookie. Hopefully, a better Detroit squad in 2021 can help Hayes improve.
14. Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
Fultz will likely be handling the ball less as well, as the arrival of Jalen Suggs and the continued development of Cole Anthony will negatively impact him. If he comes back after his injury and looks explosive, he could climb a bit higher up this list.
13. Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
DiVincenzo might’ve had to sit out Milwaukee’s postseason run, but he has proven to be a quality defender and shooter that made some big shots on the path to the Bucks’ title. If he manages to stay healthy, he might get the recognition he deserves during Milwaukee’s quest to repeat.
12. Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers
With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both poor shooters, the 76ers need to make sure that they are surrounded by elite shooters. For his defensive faults, Curry can certainly stroke it from long range, and that is good enough for 12th on the list.
11. Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
It’s fair to look with a degree of skepticism at Robinson’s hefty long-term contract given his poor defense, but he is one of the best shooters in the game, and that trait combined with his height could make him a valuable asset on a Heat team that should be a contender this year.