2. SG Gary Trent Jr.
When Trent came to the Raptors in the Norman Powell trade, some skeptics claimed that whatever benefits he would provide on the offensive end would be overshadowed by the fact that he is one of the worst defensive players in the league. All it took was one half-season in Toronto to alleviate those doubts.
On defense, Trent is near the top of the league with 2.0 steals while coming in second in deflections behind his teammate in VanVleet. The improvement from a horrendous defensive player to one that can’t be taken out of the lineup has been jaw-dropping to watch in real-time.
Toronto Raptors guard has been a beast when healthy.
In case you were wondering how he’s been performing on offense, Trent is averaging 16.2 points per game while nailing 42% of his shots and 37% of his 3-pointers. The sniping from deep has remained, but Trent has become a valuable weapon in the mid-range.
Trent was being trusted with a ton of responsibility this season, as he was asked to provide shooting and quality guard play on a team deficient in both of those areas. Considering how he’s played this year and the fact he won’t turn 23 until January 18, his contract is starting to look like a steal.