3 pleasant surprises on the Toronto Raptors roster in 2021-22

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Fred VanVleet #23 and Justin Champagnie #11 of the Toronto Raptors drives against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Fred VanVleet #23 and Justin Champagnie #11 of the Toronto Raptors drives against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Gary Trent Jr, Toronto Raptors
MIAMI, FLORIDA – JANUARY 29: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

1. Gary Trent Jr

Trent has been playing unreal basketball over the last four games, averaging 32 points per game while nailing half of his 3-pointers. While Toronto invested in Trent thinking they had secured a long-term contributor, this recent stretch has shattered even the most optimistic projections.

Trent averaging 17.8 points per game has been boosted by his 3-point shooting, as he is nailing 39% of his attempts despite a lack of tremendous spacing on the floor around him at times. Trent’s defensive skills have helped him rank near the top of the league in steals and deflections. 

Gary Trent Jr. is getting better every week for the Toronto Raptors.

Trent might decide to opt out after the 2022-23 season and cash in following this stint, but the Raptors should consider backing up the Brinks truck and giving him the money he desires. His shooting and defense have been excellent, and the lack of similar players on the roster might force Toronto to pay up.

Trent is younger than Malachi Flynn, meaning we are barely scratching the surface with regards to how good he can be. Trent was always going to be a solid scorer, but his defensive skill and clutch shooting has helped solidify him as one of the game’s best young guards.

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