The one big move that the Toronto Raptors made right before the trade deadline was trading Norman Powell away to the Portland Trail Blazers, a move that netted them Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood in return. So far, the Raptors have to pretty pleased with Trent, who is likely going to become a member of the long-term core despite his restricted free agency status.
Trent has averaged 15.8 points per game with the Raptors, but those numbers are a bit misleading considering how he has been coming off of the bench lately due to the return of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. While Trent’s scoring and shooting has translated over, Hood has had a less-rosy move to the Raptors.
After averaging 4.7 points per game on 36% shooting with the Blazers, Hood is averaging 5.2 points per game on 37% shooting. Considering how Hood has a team option for next season that would cost Toronto eight figures, it is unlikely that they will bring Hood back for the 2020 season.
This puts even more pressure on Trent. Not only does he have to give Toronto a boost in bench scoring in the short-term and a shooting guard for the future in the long-term, but he needs to perform better than Powell considering how Hood is offering nothing to the team right now.
Gary Trent Jr. must play well for the Toronto Raptors due to Rodney Hood.
Powell is averaging 17.3 points per game for Portland, where he has taken over Trent’s role as the tertiary gunner next to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. While the Raptors likely would not have been able to retain Powell due to his contract demands, but Trent and Powell will still be compared production-wise, especially if Powell resigns with the Blazers.
Hood had a chance to prove that he was more than a throw-in, but he has proven to be not only a liability in the short term, but a piece that Toronto can’t afford to bring back. If the Blazers end up retaining Powell and he scores more than Trent does, some might start wondering why this trade was consummated.
Trent and Powell are almost identical players. Both of them are average perimeter defenders who don’t contribute much in the way of passing or rebounding, but their shooting and ability to create their own shots stand out. Trent and Powell are now locked in an arms race, and every stinker Trent puts up will sting even more now that Hood is contributing nothing.
Hood is doing everything he can to limit his chances of returning to the Toronto Raptors next season, meaning that the Powell/Trent swap is looking like a straight-up affair. For the rest of time, their performance will be compared against one another, which puts another heavy burden on Trent’s slight shoulders.