3 Raptors draft targets who could become the next Gary Trent Jr.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 06: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 06: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Raptors appeared to have convincingly won the Norman Powell, as they were able to take an ascending young guard in Gary Trent Jr. away from Portland. Trent was a bit of a defensive question mark when he arrived in Toronto, but he’s made fools of the haters after just one entire season.

Trent went from one of the league’s worst defensive players to a genuine two-way standout that was near the top of the league in steals and deflections per game. Averaging 18.3 points per game on 38% shooting from 3-point range in a year where he only turned 23 makes him a valuable part of Toronto’s long-term plan.

Trent has had to overcome plenty of obstacles in his career, as he came into the league as a second-round pick with some bad defensive results in college. The Raptors’ player development is the main reason Trent improved, and they could have a similar impact on one lucky prospect this year.

The Raptors could look to bring in a player who has a similar style to Trent with the No. 33 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. After Nick Nurse turned him into a genuinely elite young shooting guard, these three prospects could follow a somewhat similar path.

3 Toronto Raptors draft targets who play like Gary Trent Jr.

3. Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech

Ujiri has often prioritized players that have multiple proven years of production in college, and Devoe certainly checks that box thanks to three straight seasons as a leader in the Yellow Jackets’ backcourt. If Jose Alvarado could make his way into the pros, Devoe could latch on as a backup.

Devoe averaged at least 15 points per game in each of the last three seasons, culminating in a 17.9 points per game year in 2022. While Devoe was a primary ball-handler in college, his slim 6-5 frame and ability to use his length to force turnovers make him a solid developmental 2-guard.

Michael Devoe has starter potential with the Toronto Raptors.

The G League Elite Camp invite’s on-ball defense could use some work, as his inability to stick with quicker guards is exacerbated by the fact that he will never be a world-class athlete. Ujiri has typically shied away from players that don’t have high athletic ceilings, which could be a problem for Devoe.

Devoe will be a bit of a gamble from a physical point of view, but Ujiri has no problem giving up some prized future assets to take a chance on a player like this. No matter what happens, Devoe should be able to be a solid scorer in the pros.