Raptors stud Gary Trent Jr. had a tough time playing in Portland

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have been thrilled with the production that they’ve seen from Gary Trent Jr. this season. The 23-year-old guard was a bit of a question mark after arriving from the Portland Trail Blazers in the Norman Powell trade, but he’s quickly become a key part of how this team operates.

Trent is averaging 18.3 points per game while emerging as arguably the most reliable 3-point shooter on the club. With his knockdown shooting and impressive defensive performances, Portland must be kicking themselves for bailing on Trent so early in his career.

Perhaps one of the main reasons that Trent has been so lethal with the Raptors is the fact that he’s in a much better state of mind. Thanks to some very revealing quotes from his father, former Raptors power forward Gary Trent Sr, the young Toronto guard is overjoyed to have been freed from a bad situation in the Pacific Northwest.

In an interview with William Lou and Alex Wong, Trent Sr. (who was also traded from Portland to Toronto midway through his third season), said that his son was “so depressed and so down” with the Blazers that he’s been thrilled at how energetically he’s been playing with the Raptors.

Gary Trent Jr. is in a better situation with the Toronto Raptors.

“I knew my son wasn’t feeling himself, he wasn’t playing his game,” Trent Sr. said. “He was under a lot of negative pressure from negative statements from front office people and lack of belief.” Trent Sr. claimed that GTJ is “looking forward” to practices and games now that he’s on the Raptors.

Trent has been playing the best basketball of his career lately, as he tied DeMar DeRozan’s franchise record for most consecutive 30-point games with five. On a team that leans heavily on their starters and often limits Trent’s shot attempts in the name of getting everyone involved, those scoring numbers stand out.

Given the controversial and poorly executed decision to hire Chauncey Billups, confusion over the direction of the franchise, and the toxic environment created by former GM Neil Olshey, it’s no wonder why Trent would’ve wanted out. He landed on his feet with a Toronto team that needed someone with his style of play.

Not only did Trent earn a three-year deal with Toronto that could pay him over $50 million over the duration of the contract, but he could opt out after the end of his second season and potentially earn a nine-figure payday. Considering that he would’ve been in a very limited role in Portland, he’s probably thrilled that Toronto pulled the trigger.

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