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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1. Orlando Magic

On the bright side for Gary, every hypothetical team he ends up on in this list sees him in a sunny, warm place (not to say Toronto doesn’t have some brutal summers too, but to be fair, they play from Fall-Spring). No team is more likely to win the Gary Trent Jr. sweepstakes than the rising, young Orlando Magic squad. This past season, the Orlando Magic shocked a lot of people by securing a playoff berth, and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference no less. A return to playoff contention was certainly anticipated, given the tremendous development from their young star in Paolo Banchero and a well-versed set of cast mates including Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs. 

Paolo Banchero, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner
Orlando Magic v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Nevertheless, the up-and-coming Orlando Magic were eliminated by the much more experienced Cleveland Cavaliers in their first-round playoff matchup. They showed a lot of promise, but down the stretch, it became apparent that Paolo Banchero needed proven offensive threats around him. As good as Franz and Jalen are, they’re not known as lights-out shooters and given Paolo’s dominant inside presence – there is a dire need for guys to space the floor if defenses are set on locking down PB. A couple of names on the market being discussed for Orlando include Klay Thompson and Malik Monk, however, the latter will no longer be available for the Magic as he signed a long-term deal to remain in SacTown. 

Klay Thompson would prove to be an interesting addition to this young Magic team, seeing as he’s been one of the Golden State Warriors' most important pieces for over a decade. He’s not the same Klay as he was in his prime, but seeing him in a new environment could bring back some of that old-school Klay magic (pun intended). But, nothing is for sure, and if the Magic miss out on acquiring Klay Thompson, then Gary Trent Jr. should be a name on their radar. He probably won’t cost as much as a championship-experienced, proven bet like Klay Thompson, and he fits the Magic timeline a little better. Obviously, you want a solid young core backed up by wise, grizzled vets, but GTJ can slide right into the Magic’s flawed areas and flourish. 

He’s definitely a better offensive player than most of the Magic’s current guards including Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Anthony Black, and Jett Howard. And while GTJ’s defense can use some improvement, he wouldn’t need to worry in Orlando as he’d be surrounded by lockdown defenders like Jon Isaac and Jalen Suggs. Plus, Gary’s game won’t take away from the main guys in Franz and Paolo, as he’s a fitting complementary piece than he is a ball hog.

Gary will need to find his shot from time to time, but once he gets going, number 33 can strike up a 25-30 piece in a jiffy. Orlando can offer a decently-sized amount of salary to Gary and they have an open spot in their starting lineup for him to take – for these reasons, they have the best chance to entice GTJ away from Toronto. 

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