Gary Trent Jr. had a career night on Saturday night, as he proving he’s right at home with the Toronto Raptors.
The Toronto Raptors may or not be in tank mode, but the evidence heading into Saturday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers was strong. Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were all declared out with injuries. Enter Gary Trent Jr.
Trent finished with a career-high 44 points (25 in the first half) against the Cavaliers, shooting 17-for-19 from the floor and 7-for-9 from 3-point range. Not only was it a career night for Trent, he put himself in some historic company with his shot-making exhibition.
Gary Trent Jr. has found a home with the Raptors
Trent came to the Raptors in the deadline day deal that sent Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers. He started slowly with his new team, as could have been expected, totaling just 14 points over his first two games on a combined 6-of-21 shooting from the floor (1-of-10 from beyond the arc). But he’s found his stride since, scoring at least 15 points in five of seven games while shooting over 47 percent from 3-point range.
On April 2 against the Golden State Warriors, he set a Raptors’ franchise record with a +54. On April 5, he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Washington Wizards.
Trent had said he felt “wanted” for the first time in his career, and in a sign he’s already embracing Toronto, he showed up to the Raptors’ game wearing a custom Blue Jays’ jersey on the day of that team’s home opener.
Trent is set to be a restricted free agent this summer. The post-trade deadline run he has started on is bolstering his market, as other teams consider giving him an offer sheet. The Raptors will of course be able to match any offer he gets, and the match between player and team seems set to continue for years to come.