Core or Ignore: Which Toronto Raptors are a part of the long-term plan?

Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic
Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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After their ten-game losing streak was extended to eleven following a 96-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Toronto Raptors have clearly established themselves near the bottom of the NBA pecking order. The removal of Jontay Porter from the rotation due to allegations of prop-fixing poetically describes exactly what is wrong with the Raptors, they simply do not have enough winners on the team.

With three potential picks in the draft and upwards of $45 million in cap space that can be cleared, the Raptors have the financial freedom to reshape the roster however they'd like. In this article, we'll look at two free agents that the Raptors must keep in their core and two players that they should likely 'ignore' when considering contract extensions.

Core: Gary Trent Jr

You may not like it, but Gary Trent Jr. is one of the most valuable members of this Raptors roster. On a team that lacks veteran wisdom, Trent has been a shining example of professionalism and selflessness.

Averaging 13.1 points per game on 40.1 percent three-point shooting, Trent Jr. is the second-longest tenured player on the Raptors. Since being traded to the Raptors in exchange for Norman Powell, Trent has been the subject of a love-hate relationship with a small portion of long-time Raptors fans.

By no means is Trent Jr. a perfect player, his one-dimensional offensive skillset has resulted in him flip-flopping from starter to sixth man throughout his time with the Raptors. However, there's something to be said about the intangible value that Trent adds to this extremely young, inexperienced Raptors squad.

His willingness to adjust to an extreme culture shift with an open mind and a desire to teach has seemingly made an impression on Raptors rookie Gradey Dick, who Trent has taken under his wing throughout the season. If the Raptors and Trent are able to agree on a mutually beneficial salary, there should be no hesitation in signing him to a multi-year extension.