The Toronto Raptors aren’t going to let Gary Trent Jr. get away easy.
The organization has extended a qualifying offer to Trent and former Raptors guard Nando de Colo, the team announced Monday.
Toronto had until August 1 to extend the qualifying offers to the pair. In Trent’s case, it was an obvious decision to ensure the 22-year-old is a restricted free agent this summer. The Raptors will therefore be allowed to match any offer sheets he signs or sign him outright when free agency opens up.
With de Colo, there was no reason for Toronto not to extend a qualifying offer despite the fact that the 34-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013-14. His salary does not count against the cap unless he returns to Toronto but the Raptors can use his contract as a trade asset and have his rights should he decide to return to the NBA down the road.
The Raptors acquired Trent from the Portland Trail Blazers at the trade deadline along with Rodney Hood in exchange for Norman Powell. The move should allow Toronto to save a little bit of money for a player who is a little bit younger than Powell and relatively similar on the court.
NBA free agency opens on August 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET.