Raptors eying “Vision 6-9” forward in Gary Trent Jr. trade talks

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are likely going to make a move that changes the completion of their team, with Gary Trent Jr. at the heart of recent discussions. With names like Jakob Poeltl and Bojan Bogdanovic being targeted in trades, getting one of them and trading away a soon-to-be-expensive Trent might be the path Masai Ujiri chooses to take.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Trent is the only player Toronto will seriously listen to offers on, with Fred VanVleet being considered too much of a team leader behind the scenes to part with at the trade deadline. Trent is reportedly seeking close to $25 million per season on the open market, so there are reasons to be suspicious about keeping him long-term.

If the Raptors can move Trent for another star, including a center like Deandre Ayton or Myles Turner whom Fischer hinted they asked around about, that would make sense. However, Fischer singled out another name Ujiri is eyeing that proves he has no intention of abandoning the “Vision 6-9” identity. 

Fischer mentioned that the Raptors had shown interest in Charlotte Hornets forward Jalen McDaniels, an upcoming free agent who can be resigned for a much cheaper $10 million per season. Shopping Trent and getting McDaniels back shows that Vision 6-9, regrettably, is here to stay.

Toronto Raptors trade rumors: Jaden McDaniels for Gary Trent Jr?

Let’s get one thing out of the way very quickly. McDaniels is not bad. In fact, he’s having a career year, averaging 11.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while playing some solid defense. Having said that, McDaniels is not going to make this team much better in the short or long term.

McDaniels has made 36% of his 3-pointers on 3.6 attempts per game. While not bad by any stretch, it won’t help the Raptors get that much better in this area. Trading away a terrific shooter like Trent will do some damage to this roster.

If this year has proven anything, it’s the fact that Ujiri went too far in on his love of switchable forwards who need to be taught the finer points of offensive basketball. Why would he double down on this strategy? Chris Boucher has been iffy, at best. Why add an exact clone?

Trading Trent, as painful as it may be in the short term, makes sense if you can get either a proven starting center or a quality shooter who won’t cost as much. Vision 6-9 isn’t a winning formula, and getting McDaniels will only make it harder for Toronto to build a contender in the East.

Next. 5 teams who could trade for Fred VanVleet. dark