Portland Trail Blazers guard Gary Trent Jr is breaking out for the second year in a row. The third-year guard is now the future of the franchise.
Gary Trent Jr has taken another jump in his development in the NBA. The third-year Portland Trail Blazers guard continues to impress on a Blazer team that is again hampered with injuries. Trent is showing,
The 22-year-old Trent was drafted with the 37th pick in the 2018 Draft. Like most rookies in the Blazers development system, he didn’t play much his first year. It was mainly garbage time in what was effectively a redshirt year.
What fans noticed right away, was that he played tough. Though his shooting didn’t come on right away, Trent played hard. Within a month or so, he was guarding the opposition’s best perimeter player, and had become a better defender than CJ McCollum or Damian Lillard.
Come February, Trent was playing 30 minutes a night, and shooting close to 40 percent from three. He was playing legitimate defense against the opposition’s best perimeter player, and shooting the lights out.
When the season was suspended in March, he had finished around the magic 40 percent mark from three. But no one expected what was to come in the NBA Bubble when the season resumed in July.
Trent became one of the Bubble’s best sixth man, and played the best basketball of his career. He shot a whopping 50 percent from three, and averaged an impressive 17 points a game. He attempted a strong eight three-pointers a game, and was actually one of the best three-point shooters in the bubble.
Come the playoffs, Trent didn’t fare as well, but he still performed credibly against the Los Angeles Lakers’ might. He had to guard LeBron James, and with one of the strongest defenses in recent memory being employed by the Lakers, he didn’t have the efficient playoffs that he would have liked. Trent still guarded LeBron admirably, and shot an excellent 41 percent from three.
The 2020 offseason could have been contract negotiation time for Trent, but he commented on this during the break, saying he was only focused on getting better.
This season, Trent has increased his minutes from 21.8 to 26.8, and upped his shot volume. His body is looking good, and he is a svelte 209 pounds.
His shot is as good as it was last year, and as the below tweet illustrates, he keeps getting better. He has been part of some great Blazer three-point shooting.
Trent has flashed some playmaking ability in the pick and roll, and some off the dribble stuff.
At just 22, he is in the next group of exciting young Blazers. He can command a four-year payday in the 2021 offseason and form this team’s building blocks for when Dame and CJ have hung up their boots.
Trent can play both sides of the ball at high levels, and is a developing playmaker. He has good positional size for the two-guard at six-foot-five with a six-foot-eight wingspan.
Trent is the only sure-fire building block on this team who is under age 26; this is why he is the future of this team in the long-term. He can be a 20 point per game guy in the NBA who may play All-NBA defense on the other end.
I hope that the Blazers lock him down to a long-term deal in the off-season, as he is their best young piece.