Target Center was empty as the Raptors came in around 10am to shoot in the morning. It looked as if the players had just woken up as they strolled a few steps from the bus and through the tunnel to the stadium.
But this walk still meant a little more to Apple Valley Gary Trent Jr Trent is in his fifth season in the NBA and third with the Raptors. But the memories of winning state championships for high schools on the block and the appreciation for playing in front of friends and family haven’t faded with time.
“It just feels better and better every time I come back here,” Trent said. “I feel like every time I come back here, every year I step up a league in my team and the opportunity in my team improves.”
Trent was grateful for his time in Toronto and for the opportunity to coach nick nurse And his crew gave it to him. He averages a career high of 18.5 points per game and has a real shooting percentage of . 573, a metric that accounts for three-pointers and free throws. This is the second-highest mark in Trent’s career after his sophomore season, when he turned in a solid showing for Portland during a portion of the NBA season that took place in a bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just a lot of things, factors that make it consistent in the NBA,” said Trent. “It’s your turn, your chance, your coach’s trust. Do they believe in you? Do they run the plays for you? Do they put you in certain positions to succeed. Just a different kind of thing. The coach and his team were there for me. They helped me. It gave me the platform and opportunity of a lifetime.”
If Trent seems a bit sad and reflective, there may be a reason for that. His name began appearing in trade oscillations around the league in various national reports. If the Raptors trade Trent before the Feb. 9 deadline, it would be the second time he has moved on after Portland traded him in 2021 to Toronto.
The Raptors entered Thursday as the No. 11 seed in the Eastern Conference and could be a deadline seller. Trent has one more season left in a deal that pays him just under $52 million over three years, but he has a player option for next season that he can turn down and go into free agency, effectively making his contract expired.
He also knows that players whose salary is within his salary range are likely to be traded.
“The trade has been rumored ever since I got into the league,” said Trent. “With my contract and situation, getting off the books or helping a team or roster is almost a complement. But you can’t really focus on that. It’s what it is. Keep going. Someone wants you. Everyone’s watching you and seeing how you do.”
The Raptors still put him to work. In fact, there have been many late games where Trent has played more than 40 minutes. do not mind. Compared to where he started his NBA career, he welcomes the opportunity to never leave the floor.
“There was one moment when I was begging for a chance just to get into court or I was wearing a suit,” Trent said. “So, for me to get 40 minutes, it feels surreal. It might go on for 40 minutes, 20 minutes into another night. Whatever it is. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get out there and show and play the game.”
- Wolves Center Rudy Goubert He stayed out due to soreness in his right thigh, with the trainer Chris Finch Saying that Joubert’s injury was considered day by day. Protect Austin Rivers He was out after being listed as questionable due to a left knee contusion that also caused him to miss Wednesday’s loss to Denver.