Toronto Raptors free agency will prove once and for all which pieces the front office considers essential to winning next year and which can be tossed in exchange for spare parts. One incredibly interesting case is that of Gary Trent Jr. and his restricted free agency, as his next contract might shape the scope of Toronto’s summer plans.
Trent was the compensation for Norman Powell after Toronto shipped him off to the Portland Trail Blazers, and he responded by upping his scoring numbers to 16.2 per game thanks to his increased responsibility with the Raptors. Trent looks like a solid long-term piece, but he on the open market, technically.
Trent’s restricted free agency means that any team can sign him to an offer sheet, but the Raptors have the ability to match said contract and keep him in Toronto if they so choose. While Trent not being back in Toronto would be an extremely unforeseen event, that won’t deter teams from making a run at him.
The Raptors need to look at one of these 3 teams in the offseason, as they could try to take Trent away from them and turn the young sharpshooter into a part of their young core by giving him a deal that exceeds what Toronto feels comfortable with.
These 3 teams could sign Toronto Raptors stud Gary Trent Jr.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be quick to tell you they are building for the future, as the Paul George and Russell Westbrook trade both netted them frankly an obscene amount of draft capital. They do need to put some stars on this roster soon, however, as they risk wasting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rookie contract and prime.
If there is one area that the Thunder could use an injection of immediate scoring pop, it’s the backcourt. While their first-round pick could easily be used on a player to pair with SGA in the backcourt, a combination of Trent, Gilgeous-Alexander, and the first-round pick to be named later with Theo Maledon on the bench is a very juicy lineup.
The Thunder could use a player like Gary Trent Jr.
At a certain point, the Thunder have to turn their picks and cap space into players. You can’t just keep accumulating picks or try to make nine first-round picks all gel on the same roster. A player like Trent fits in perfectly with their timeline, and they could try to compete with Toronto for his services.
The Thunder could be in a position to be one of the few teams well under the cap next season, which often heralds the start of a big signing spree. Trent’s timeline matches up with Oklahoma City’s plan to build, and it could force Toronto to match an eye-watering offer that further impacts this roster.