Report: Raptors' Gary Trent Jr. will opt into $18.5M player option

The 24-year-old guard will avoid unrestricted free agency this summer after opting into his deal with the Raptors.

Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. will opt into his $18.5 million player option for the 2023-24 season, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes.

While many predicted that Trent Jr. would opt out of his player option and test free agency like teammate Fred VanVleet, Haynes reports that the 24-year-old is committed to negotiating a long-term deal that benefits both sides.

Trent Jr. had until Tuesday to decide whether he was going to pick up his player option or become an unrestricted free agent. Furthermore, he was reportedly expected to command north of $20 million in free agency, largely due to him being one of the preeminent three-and-D players on the market. However, that would’ve been a daunting price for the Raptors.

This move leaves VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl as the team’s two most salient free agents this summer.

VanVleet opted out of his $22.8 million player option for next season, and is expected to command over $30 million a year on his next deal. The Raptors seem intent on re-signing Poeltl as well after acquiring him at the trade deadline from the San Antonio Spurs, but ESPN's Jeremy Woo reported on Tuesday that Toronto may find it difficult to meet the Austrian center's financial demands.

Although the decision was somewhat unexpected, Trent Jr. has been spotted working out at the team’s OVO Athletic Centre and previous reports indicated both sides had mutual interest in working out a new deal.

Gary Trent Jr. has opted into his player option with the Raptors. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Gary Trent Jr. has opted into his player option with the Raptors. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

In 66 games this past season, Trent Jr. averaged 17.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. The Minnesota native has been with Toronto since 2021 after he was acquired from the Portland Trailblazers — along with Rodney Hood — in exchange for Norman Powell. He has become an integral part of the team’s core, and seems set to continue growing into that role for the foreseeable future, as well.