Toronto Raptors: Projecting stats for Gary Trent Jr. in 2021-22

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 18: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 18: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors decided that swapping out Norman Powell at the trade deadline ahead of his impending contract was imperative if they want to get younger and more financially flexible, and they accomplished that goal by sending No. 24 to the Portland Trail Blazers to get a guard in Gary Trent Jr. that has plenty of quality basketball ahead of him.

Trent had to fight and claw his way onto the roster in Portland after being taken in the second round, but his play in the Disney bubble in 2020 and with Toronto in 2021 showed that he has the traits needed to become a quality starting guard in this league.

The Raptors gave Trent a three-year contract that will pay him just over $17 million per season. While that might sound like a lot for a player that only has one year of truly insane production, his ability to put the ball in the basket is well beyond excellence, and that will make him a valued commodity on this team.

The Raptors need to have Trent take a step forward this year, as the loss of Kyle Lowry means he will be counted on for a great deal of offensive responsibility this season.

Gary Trent Jr. should have a breakout year for the Toronto Raptors.

Trent averaged 16.2 points per game on 39% shooting with Toronto, but if you look at the 12 games he played from March 26 to April 18 (coincidentally before he started to deal with nagging injures), he averaged 17.8 points per game on 43% shooting. He should expect to be right around those marks this season.

His 3-point shooting efficiency must be right at or slightly above 40% this season. That sounds like a lofty bar to clear, but Toronto paid him all that money with the expectation that he could be one of the best perimeter snipers on a team that features stars like Pascal Siakam and rookie Scottie Barnes that didn’t have amazing shooting seasons last year.

Given the multitude of talented scorers, Trent will get his fair share of wide-open looks.

In addition to the fact that he needs to become even an average defensive player after posing some really gnarly advanced metrics, he needs to make strides as either a rebounder or passer.

2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game is not going to cut it. Either help out more on the glass or work on setting teammates up for success.

Trent might have a ton of bars that he needs to clear as a player this season, but the Raptors wouldn’t have traded Powell and invested in him to this level if they thought he was incapable of making that leap. Expect big things from No. 33 in his first full season with Toronto.

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