The Toronto Raptors had been anticipated to be one of many largest gamers on the 2021 NBA Commerce Deadline given how shortly they’ve fallen aside, and so they made good on these predictions, buying and selling away star guard Norman Powell to the Portland Path Blazers in alternate for guard Gary Trent Jr. and wing Rodney Hood.
Whereas Hood has been a stable scorer for the higher a part of a decade on this league, his damage historical past implies that Trent, who simply turned 22 years outdated and is a restricted free agent on the finish of this season, is the massive prize on this deal.
There’s a lot to love about Trent. Regardless of sharing the ground with two ball-dominant guards in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Trent, a former second-round pick of Duke, has averaged 15.0 factors, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per recreation this season.
Like his father, Trent was traded from Portland to Toronto 41 video games into his third season (loopy, I do know!) Whereas Powell could possibly be a tough participant to exchange given his offensive ability, Trent has sufficient potential to get Masai Ujiri and Nick Nurse enthusiastic about his long-term potential.
Heck, he and Powell appear to be nearly an identical gamers at instances.
How does Toronto raptors acquisition Gary Trent Jr. examine to Norman Powell?
Trent isn’t as expert an offensive participant as Powell, however he’s greater than serviceable on that finish, as he’s 40% taking pictures this season. Wonderful in transition, Trent can get to the opening, end on the rim, and line up at a number of backcourt spots.
Trent may’ve been on a nasty defensive crew in Portland, however he was one of many few stable gamers on that aspect of the ground, utilizing his dimension and tenacity to indicate flashes of greatness as an on-ball defender. Whereas Powell had his lengthy wingspan, he was by no means an incredible defender on the wing, and Trent may assist solidify Toronto’s perimeter.
Trent isn’t an ideal participant, nonetheless. On offense, he struggles to create his personal shot, and he was typically diminished to standing round within the nook. In Nurse’s offense, that received’t fly. Dealing with the ball and passing have additionally been adventures, for all of the mistaken causes.
Whereas a stable shooter, he’s a tier under Powell, which may make for a impolite introduction to Toronto. Nevertheless, if the Raptors persist with him and enhance his offensive recreation, Trent ought to be capable of stay a long-term fixture.
Within the short-term, Trent isn’t an improve over Powell. Nevertheless, it took Powell 5 years to grow to be a double-digit scorer, and Trent has achieved that by his third season within the league. If he learns to be extra inventive on the offensive finish, he has sufficient expertise to enhance right into a star participant, as he has made humungous strides over his first few seasons.