According to Michael Scott of HoopsHype, Gary Trent Jr. is expected to decline his $18.6 million player for the 2022-23 season and become a free agent for the first time in his career.

Trent is averaging 16.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 33.5 percent from beyond the arc. His gradual improvement since he was drafted by Portland Trail Blazers in 2018 will help him earn a solid second contract. However, Scotto believes that the Raptors aren’t keen on committing to Trent long-term.

“According to numerous NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype at the G League Showcase, the top Raptors trade candidate is unanimously Gary Trent Jr.,” HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported.

“The current belief from those executives is Trent Jr. will opt out of his $18.8 million player option and enter unrestricted free agency this summer. Two executives told HoopsHype they believe Trent could earn $20 million or more if he entered unrestricted free agency. There’s skepticism amongst several front offices across the league that Toronto would be willing to retain Trent Jr. if he eclipses the $20 million annual range.”

The Raptors acquired Trent in the middle of the 2020-21 season after trading away Norman Powell for the former Duke Blue Devil. In the 112 games Trent has played for Toronto, he’s averaged 17.7 points per game. Because of that production, it’ll be difficult to let Trent walk, but the Raptors are in the middle of being a playoff threat while they are fighting off being a high-draft pick team or tanking.

Toronto (13-18) will look to break their six-game losing streak against Cleveland (21-11) on Friday.

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