The Toronto Raptors are getting prepared for the 2022-23 campaign, but they need to be watching their books, as some of their best players are due to hit the free agent market at some point in the near future. Gary Trent Jr. and his masterful perimeter game rank among them.
Trent has a player option worth $18.5 million for the 2023-24 season, but he is almost certainly going to decline that and test the free agent market if he has another tremendous statistical season. Looking at the money that young guards like Jalen Brunson and Tyler Herro received will also influence his decision.
Herro signed a four-year, $130 million extension with the Miami Heat just a few months after Brunson got nine figures from the Knicks despite only one exceptional season. Trent and his agents have to be watching the free agent market and establishing that they will not take a huge discount.
Trent was always going to approach the $100 million mark for a four-year contract, but the Herro deal has shown that quality young 3-point shooters needed to exceed that mark by a considerable margin in today’s market. Will that impact Trent’s career in Toronto?
Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. is looking at the Tyler Herro contract.
Let’s just look at Trent and Herro side by side. Herro might have the slight edge in points per game, but Trent is a much better defender who scored his 18.3 points per game despite sharing shots with four potential All-Stars in the starting lineup. Just one year older than Herro, Trent has a ton of gas left in the tank.
The Raptors are gearing up for potential Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam extensions, making it even more difficult to retain all of their best players. O.G. Anunoby will likely want a more lucrative contract in the near future, and the eventual Scottie Barnes megadeal will suck up tons of financial freedom.
The Herro contract gave Trent a neighborhood in which he could ballpark his initial offer. Even if he doesn’t get nine figures, Toronto now knows they will need to exceed the Brunson contract if they want a serious chance at retaining him. Shooters like him don’t grow on trees.
Could a trade be in the works if Toronto doesn’t pay him?
The Raptors have one of the best starting units in the league, but they have to be aware of the fact that retaining all of them will be impossible. Trent has shown that he is clearly capable of being a player Toronto can count on for the next half-decade, but he will come at a very expensive price.