Grade the Trade: Raptors get back savvy Aussie for SG who was leaving anyway in pitch

Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors and Joe Ingles, Orlando Magic
Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors and Joe Ingles, Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Laying out the Trent trade pitch

Gary Trent Jr. opted into the last season of his contract last summer, likely hoping to have a strong enough season to earn a larger contract. It's hard to tell from this distance if that was the wise move, but if he is able to command a raise it won't be a singificant one off of the $13 million he made this season.

What teams could be looking for a player like Trent, a perfectly-fine 3-and-D player with some spurts of greater impact? One that comes to mind is the Orlando Magic, who may be looking for a younger replacement for Gary Harris to come in and fill a role around their on-ball forwards in Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.

The popular NBA trade site Fanspo evidently thought the same thing, as they shared a trade idea illustrating a potential trade return for the Raptors dealing Trent to the Magic in a sign-and-trade. Such a move would bring back a player and two picks; here's the trade that was proposed:

Trent sign-and-trade

Why would the Orlando Magic make this deal for a player they could sign outright in free agency? There are a handful of reasons, the first being that it clears Joe Ingles and his salary off of their books, either for more cap space or to give them increased breathing room under the luxury tax. Similarly, if the Magic have other plans for their cap space or want to stay over the cap for one more year, matching salary with Trent allows them a lot of flexibility with the rest of their transactions.

Although it may be helpful to execute a sign-and-trade, the Magic certainly aren't paying an exorbitant fee to do so. This trade would see them move on from a low first and what will almost certainly be a low second, so the upside is infinitesimal.

That's why Orlando would pull the trigger; would the Raptors do the same and make this deal?