Gary Trent Jr wasn’t expecting a big role this season, but with the injuries this Trail Blazers team has suffered, his emergence has been a real positive.
Gary Trent Jr. was picked in the second round of the draft in 2018 and spent most of his first season riding the pine or playing garbage time for this Trail Blazers team. Due to the injuries that we have talked about in so much detail, Trent has had a larger role than initially thought and he has taken it with both hands.
Though he may never be a lead guard like young teammate Anfernee Simons, Trent has shown flashes of play that may mean he can be a three and d wing in the league long-term.
Shooting 38.8 percent on threes prior to the matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, Trent has attempted an impressive 67 three-pointers already this year. This percentage is good enough to sit him only behind Carmelo Anthony for qualified members of the squad.
Shooting is everything in this league, Trent’s ability to hit threes from both corners and above the break could mean a long future in the league for him.
Though Trent has only played 300 minutes this season he has shown he can take care of the ball on offense too. At least five more experienced members of this Trail Blazers team have turned the ball over far too often, hurting the already struggling offense.
Not turning the ball over combined with some nice plays on defense has meant this team could have another end of bench guy to rely on. Though it is only 300 minutes, as Trent was drafted 37th, a three and d player on the end of the bench is great value from this draft position.
Breaking down his tape a little further, Trent has shown the ability to stay in front of his man on defense, especially in the pick and roll. He does struggle to contain shooters on the perimeter but he is only 20 years old.
Other work-on’s for him should be looking for the open man when handling the ball in transition. With the increased minutes he’s had recently, he has managed to get a few steals or led the break with the ball. If he can continue to improve his vision while working on his dribble he will find himself getting more rotation minutes on this Blazers team.
Trent is very early in his NBA career but already shown he can be a rotation member. Even if it’s just three – five three-point attempts a night plus competent defense, he is someone who is fit and who can play 10 – 20 minutes a game.
With the devastating injury toll, this team will need him.