3 teams that could steal Gary Trent Jr. away from the Toronto Raptors

GTJ is due for a new deal this offseason, and the Raptors may not be the only ones trying to secure his services.
Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors
Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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3. Sacramento Kings

Sacramento is sort of in a weird spot after their Cinderella story to the playoffs last season. For many years, the Sacramento Kings were long considered one of the NBA’s most miserable franchises, with such blunders including their mishandling of stars like DeMarcus Cousins, and passing on Luka Doncic for Marvin Bagley III. The Kings held a special place in sports mediocrity, as they held a record for the longest playoff drought in NBA history and the longest active postseason drought across the four major North American sports.

To the surprise of many, the Kings shocked everyone with their revitalized team that radiated a positive, team-first mindset. Their reinvigorated spirit highlighted by their “Light the Beam!” chant and rally call breathed new life in the city of Sacramento, for both fans and mainstays in the franchise who suffered through the darkest years. The 2022-23 Kings campaign saw them finish 3rd in the Western Conference and riding off a ton of momentum leading into the postseason. Unfortunately for them, the Golden State Warriors put an abrupt end to their storybook season, bouncing the Kings out of the playoffs in the first round. 

De'Aaron Fox
Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Despite coming up short against their fellow Californian foes, the Kings had nothing to be ashamed of as they proved many wrongs by playing above expectations. So it was expected they could ride that same wave leading into the 2023-24 season, but alas, that was not the case. In an ever-competitive Western Conference, the Kings did not live up to last season’s overachieving record, falling to nine in the standings. They did make the play-in tournament, knocking off their 10th-seeded rival Warriors, but losing to the 8th-seeded Pelicans in the subsequent matchup.

The Sacramento Kings could use depth on the wing, and Gary Trent Jr. could be that guy. Kevin Huerter and Chris Duarte aren’t enough to cut it at the shooting guard positions, but adding Trent Jr. to the mix gives them another scoring-punch option on the perimeter. He isn’t an amazing defender, but Gary has shown grit and hustle to steal the ball from time to time.

It all comes down to cap flexibility for the Kings and what kind of money Gary is looking for this offseason. The Kings have the MLE (Non-Taxpayer Mid-level exception) to work with, so if GTJ is willing to take a bit of a pay cut to be a fundamental piece on a playoff team, he could sign a 1+1 player option type of deal and maximize his value in the following offseason. If that’s the case, then Gary Trent Jr. could very well pack his bags for Sacramento.