Report: Raptors re-sign Gary Trent Jr. to three-year, $54-million deal

The Toronto Raptors have agreed to a three-year, $54-million deal to re-sign restricted free agent shooting guard Gary Trent Jr., according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The 22-year-old was acquired in a trade for Norman Powell in March and averaged 15.3 points on 38.5 percent shooting from three in 17 games with the Raptors. Trent Jr.'s new deal includes a player option in the third season.

It's a fair deal for both sides, especially if Trent Jr. continues to showcase more growth in other areas of his game besides his shooting. The Raptors needed a long-term solution at shooting guard who would fit with the young core of their rebuilding group, while Trent Jr. was looking to be compensated at a rate similar to the average starter. For reference, Trent Jr.'s salary is a hair below OG Anunoby ($18 million per year) and Fred VanVleet ($20 million).

Related: What to make of Gary Trent Jr.'s debut season with the Raptors

However, that is contingent on Trent Jr. showing continued improvement, because he is mostly one-dimensional at the moment. His volume three-point shooting is hugely important, especially for a Raptors team that will be fairly light on shooters after losing Kyle Lowry to the Miami Heat, but there is an open question as to what else Trent Jr. brings to the table.

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 18: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors reacts during the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Amalie Arena on April 18, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Gary Trent Jr. of the Toronto Raptors reacts after scoring a basket. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) (Douglas P. DeFelice via Getty Images)

His defence has been strong at times, but he has mostly graded out as just average in advanced stats such as ESPN's Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Trent Jr.'s passing is also an area of weakness, as he is mostly finishing plays rather than setting up other players, which does leave the backcourt fairly deficient from a playmaking standpoint.

Still, it's a reasonable bit of business that ensures both sides are taken care of. The Raptors will now turn their attention towards solving their issues at centre, while looking to re-route pieces from the sign-and-trade with Lowry.

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