A Raptors wing has regained his offensive spark and it has never mattered less

Gary Trent Jr. is beginning to look like himself again in the latter half of the season, but his overall team effectiveness remains to be seen.

Charlotte Hornets v Toronto Raptors
Charlotte Hornets v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

Gary Trent Jr. went through quite a rough patch to begin the 2023-24 season on the Toronto Raptors. His near 20-point production in the last couple of seasons has fallen off to just over an average of 12 points per game this year. However, with the injury bug honing over a good chunk of Toronto's starters, Gary Trent Jr. has taken this opportunity to bring his offensive numbers back to what Raptors fans had been accustomed to.

In his last five games, Gary Trent Jr. is averaging 23.4 points, shooting an efficient 47.8% from the field, and making just over 42% on his three-pointers at about four and a half attempts a night. In the Raptors' most recent matchup with the Orlando Magic on March 15, Trent Jr. popped off for a season-high 31 points and made seven of his 11 three-point attempts.

From a numbers perspective, one would assume Trent Jr.'s uptake in offensive production is resulting in wins for the Toronto Raptors, yet a closer look at the advanced analytics would say otherwise.

Gary Trent Jr. may be doing better in the second half of the season, but the Toronto Raptors are still losing.

In these same five appearances, Trent Jr. has a plus-minus of -30 with his sole positive presence on the court coming in the March 11 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, where he was a +8. Even when Trent Jr. is hitting the 30+ point mark, like he did against the Orlando Magic, it doesn't help the team enough to result in a victory. Social media rhetoric is also catching on to what ultimately looks like 'empty stats' for Gary Trent Jr. on a losing team.

With the recurring loss of key starters in and out of the rotation, someone needs to take the offensive load left behind and it just so happens to be Gary Trent Jr. as of late. By no means is GTJ a horrible player, but his ability to be a winning, impactful player on the Toronto Raptors is a bit questionable.

GTJ had a strong 2021-22 regular season campaign, yet he performed like a shadow of himself in the playoffs. In the Raptors 2023 play-in matchup against Chicago, Trent Jr. shot a horrendous one for seven on his field-goal attempts, finishing with a measly two points and a plus-minus of -9.

One of Trent Jr.'s best assets is his three-point shooting and he's a worthwhile player to have on a Toronto team where a spark plug of his nature is appreciated. But GTJ can be streaky and he needs to prove his type of play results in team success, or else his desire to gain a hefty contract extension will be limited to a mid-level exception or just slightly above.

Next. 2 Obvious, 2 subtle moves Raptors must make for lottery odds. 2 Obvious, 2 subtle moves Raptors must make for lottery odds. dark