Gary Trent Jr.

Contract Details: Clippers, THT, Ball, Nwaba, Bembry, Raptors

After reporting over the weekend that the Clippers used about $3.9MM of their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Justise Winslow, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Instagram video) confirmed today that the team used the leftover portion of that MLE to sign second-round picks Jason Preston and Brandon Boston Jr. to three-year deals, with Preston getting a little more than the rookie minimum.

Keith Smith of Spotrac shares those salary figures down to the dollar, tweeting that Winslow’s first-year salary is $3,902,439 while Preston’s is $1,062,303. Combined with Boston’s rookie minimum of $925,258, those three salaries add up to exactly $5.89MM, the amount of the taxpayer mid-level exception.

Here are a few more details on new contracts from around the NBA:

  • While Talen Horton-Tucker‘s three-year deal with the Lakers was initially said to be worth $32MM, the year-by-year breakdown provided by Smith works out to a total of $30.78MM (Twitter link).
  • Lonzo Ball‘s four-year deal with the Bulls also came in slightly lower than expected, according to Smith, who says it has a base value of $80MM, with $1MM in annual unlikely incentives (Twitter link).
  • David Nwaba‘s three-year, $15MM contract with the Rockets has two fully guaranteed seasons followed by a third-year team option, according to Marks (Instagram video).
  • DeAndre’ Bembry‘s minimum-salary deal with the Nets has a partial guarantee of $750K for now, tweets Smith. That number will increase to $1.25MM on December 15 before becoming fully guaranteed in January.
  • Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter links) shares some Raptors contract details, reporting that Gary Trent Jr.‘s deal has a base value of $51.84MM, with $250K in annual unlikely incentives. Murphy adds that Ishmail Wainright got a $250K guarantee in 2021/22 – plus a $125K guarantee in ’22/23 – on his minimum-salary contract, while Yuta Watanabe‘s minimum-salary deal is now partially guaranteed for $375K. Watanabe would get his full guarantee if he makes the regular season roster.

Raptors Sign Gary Trent Jr. To Three-Year Deal

AUGUST 8: Trent’s deal with the Raptors is now official, according to a press release from the team.


AUGUST 2: The Raptors have reached a contract agreement with restricted free agent Gary Trent Jr. and will re-sign the swingman to a three-year, $54MM deal, agent Rich Paul tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The contract will include a third-year player option, Wojnarowski adds.

Trent, 22, spent his first two-and-a-half NBA seasons in Portland before being sent to Toronto in a deadline deal involving Norman Powell. Trent averaged a career-best 15.3 PPG on .408/.385/.783 shooting in 58 total games (31.1 MPG) for the Blazers and Raptors in 2020/21 ahead of his first foray into free agency.

Trent decided to play out last season without an extension despite the fact that Portland was believed to be willing to give him a four-year, $54MM deal, the maximum the team could’ve offered before he reached free agency.

That decision paid off for the young wing, who will now make that same amount over three seasons if he opts into his final year. If he opts out in 2023, he’ll hit unrestricted free agency as a 24-year-old and will likely be in position to cash in again.

Scotto’s Latest: Harrell, Cavaliers, Knicks, Trent Jr., Jones

Lakers center Montrezl Harrell remains undecided on his player option as a Saturday deadline looms, sources tell Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Harrell is described as “50-50” on the option, which would pay him $9.7MM for next season.

Picking up the option would make the 27-year-old a trade chip for the Lakers, who are hoping to add another star to their roster. There was a report over the weekend that L.A. has discussed moving Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick to the Kings in exchange for Buddy Hield, and multiple sources tell Scotto that Harrell has been included in several variations of that hypothetical trade.

Sacramento may view Harrell as a replacement for Richaun Holmes, who is headed toward free agency. Scotto reiterates that the Mavericks, Hornets and Raptors are among the teams likely to enter the bidding for Holmes. He adds that the Lakers offered Kumza and the 22nd choice to the Pacers for pick No. 13 and salary filler, but Indiana turned it down.

There’s more from Scotto:

  • The Cavaliers have been contacted about the No. 3 pick by the Raptors, Thunder, Warriors and Knicks, but Oklahoma City didn’t talk to Cleveland about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was reportedly part of an offer the Thunder made to the Pistons for the top overall selection. Cleveland would like to acquire another top-10 pick, Scotto adds.
  • Before the Pelicans agreed to trade the 10th pick to the Grizzlies, the Knicks made an unsuccessful offer involving the 19th and 21st selections, according to league sources. New York is believed to be focused on Oregon’s Chris Duarte.
  • Several people around the league believe that Gary Trent Jr., who received a qualifying offer from the Raptors on Monday, could get an offer in the neighborhood of $18-$20MM per season.
  • The Grizzlies are making back-up point guard Tyus Jones available in trade talks, league sources tell Scotto. Jones will make $8.38MM next season in the final year of his contract.

Raptors Extend QOs To Gary Trent Jr., Nando De Colo

The Raptors have given qualifying offers to guards Gary Trent Jr. and Nando De Colo, the team announced today in a press release. As a result, both players will be restricted free agents.

The Raptors acquired Trent – along with Rodney Hood – in the deadline deal that sent Norman Powell to the Blazers. In 58 total games (31.1 MPG) with Portland and Toronto in 2020/21, the 22-year-old averaged 15.3 PPG on .408/.385/.783 shooting.

Because he met the starter criteria, Trent will receive a qualifying offer of $4.7MM+, which will also be his cap hold. If he accepts that one-year, $4.7MM offer, he’d be an unrestricted free agent in 2022, but he’s more likely to work out a longer-term deal with the Raptors or another team. Should he sign an offer sheet with a rival suitor, Toronto will be able to match it.

As for De Colo, he hasn’t played in the NBA since 2014, but the Raptors have now issued him a qualifying offer for eight straight years in order to retain matching rights in the event that he does return stateside.

There’s no indication that will happen anytime soon, or at all – he remains under contract with Fenerbahce in Turkey – but there’s no harm in Toronto making the procedural move. De Colo’s qualifying offer is worth $1.8MM.

Hollinger’s Latest: Draft, Wiseman, Siakam, Trent, Combine

Sources who have spoken to John Hollinger of The Athletic are skeptical that the Pistons, Rockets, or Cavaliers will trade out of the top three spots in the draft.

As Hollinger notes, there are a lot of teams that figure to have interest in moving up in the draft, including several holding multiple first-round picks, such as the Magic, Thunder, and Knicks. However, it’s more difficult to find teams that will give serious consideration to moving down. Any trade up may require a substantial overpay, Hollinger adds.

Here are a few more tidbits from Hollinger following his time at the pre-draft combine in Chicago:

Raptors Notes: Birch, Trent, Anunoby, Harris, More

Fourth-year center Khem Birch will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, giving him the freedom to sign with any team, but his comments following Sunday’s regular season finale made it sound as if he’d like to stick with the Raptors, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca, who tweets that Birch said fit is as important as money in free agency.

“I got lucky,” Birch said of his late-season move from the Magic to the Raptors. “If I would’ve stayed in Orlando people probably would’ve thought I’m just a regular bench big who can’t score. I’m fortunate these guys believed in me.”

After averaging 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 188 total games in Orlando (16.5 MPG), Birch put up 11.6 PPG and 7.2 RPG in 18 games (29.8 MPG) with Toronto and didn’t sacrifice efficiency — his field-goal percentage increased to 55.8% despite the fact that he was attempting a career-high 1.6 threes per game as a Raptor.

Here’s more on the Raptors, who missed the postseason for the first time since 2013:

  • As a restricted free agent who was a key trade-deadline acquisition for the Raptors, Gary Trent Jr. is a good bet to remain with the team, though he indicated today that he’s prepared for any scenario. According to Lewenberg (Twitter link), Trent said he understands that the NBA is a business and that – as an RFA – his future isn’t fully in his hands, but said he’d “definitely” be open to being a Raptor going forward.
  • OG Anunoby said that his injured calf is getting better and that he’s looking forward to carrying over his work this season into the summer, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Anunoby missed the final eight games of the season due to that calf issue.
  • With so many regular contributors injured or resting near the end of the season, many of the Raptors’ bench players have had a chance to shine. As Holly MacKenzie writes for the team’s official site, Stanley Johnson and Jalen Harris each established a new career-high for points in a game in the season’s final week (Harris did it twice).
  • Harris and Malachi Flynn didn’t receive a ton of attention this season compared to other members of the 2020/21 rookie class, but both players look like good fits in the Raptors’ culture and could stick around for a while, writes Eric Koreen of The Athletic.

Raptors’ Trent Reaches Starter Criteria, Qualifying Offer Increases

Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. has reached the starter criteria in his contract, jumping his qualifying offer from $2.1MM to $4.7MM, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. It also increases his cap hold by the same amount.

Trent reached that threshold by starting against Washington on Thursday. The starter criteria requires an RFA-to-be to start at least half of his team’s games in the season leading up to his free agency or in the two seasons preceding his free agency.

Although Trent started only eight of 61 regular-season games with Portland last season, he made 24 starts in 41 games with the Trail Blazers this season before he was traded and has now made 13 starts in 15 games with Toronto, for a total of 36. That’s half of this season’s 72 games.

It would be a shock if the Raptors didn’t extend the QO to Trent or if he accepted it. In all likelihood, Toronto will negotiate a more lucrative multiyear deal or will have to match an offer sheet for him in restricted free agency.

Trent averaged 15.0 PPG with Portland this season on 39.7% shooting on three-point attempts. He has averaged 15.9 PPG on 36.4% shooting from deep in his first 14 games with Toronto.

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Brown, Tatum, Fournier, Trent

The Knicks moved closer to securing a guaranteed playoff spot in the East with their win over Houston on Sunday, but it may have come at a cost. Veteran big man Nerlens Noel left the game after suffering an ankle injury in the third quarter and didn’t return.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who notes that Noel was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain, X-rays on that ankle were negative. While that’s good news for the Knicks and their starting center, he’ll undergo further evaluation on Monday to determine the severity of the injury and a potential timeline for his return.

If Noel is forced to miss time, the Knicks – already missing Mitchell Robinson – will have to lean more heavily on Taj Gibson and Norvel Pelle at the center spot.

Here are a few more notes from around the Atlantic:

  • Celtics guard Jaylen Brown limped off the court favoring his right leg after colliding with teammate Jayson Tatum late in Sunday’s loss to Portland, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Both players headed to the locker room after the collision, though Tatum said after the game that he felt OK. Brown’s status isn’t yet known.
  • Celtics wing Evan Fournier has been back for six games after dealing with COVID-19 and scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting on Sunday. However, he told reporters he’s still feeling the aftereffects of the virus. “I feel like I have a concussion,” Fournier said, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). “Right now, it’s actually doing a little bit better. But at first, the bright lights were bothering my eyes, my vision was blurry, and everything was going too fast for me. … My depth perception is really bad right now, but I saw a specialist and she gave me some exercises, and hopefully I can get better.”
  • As Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes, Raptors swingman Gary Trent Jr., who has missed the last five games with a leg injury, is just one start (or 57 minutes played) away from meeting the starter criteria, which would increase the value of his qualifying offer and cap hold. While it may just be a coincidence based on which Raptors were available, it’s worth noting that Trent came off the bench in his last two healthy games after starting his first eight with the team. Toronto would gain a little extra cap flexibility this offseason if Trent falls short of meeting the starter criteria.

Atlantic Notes: Birch, Trent, Hill, Harden

Center Khem Birch has expanded his game since joining the Raptors and will likely be a priority for the team in free agency, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Birch, who signed with Toronto after being waived by the Magic last month, said the coaching staff has given him a green light to try new things.

“Coach (Nick) Nurse told me today to work on my ball-handling and to go coast-to-coast or even just be a threat in transition,” Birch said. “So it’s stuff I’ve worked on but I’ve never implemented it into my game. But the fact that the coaching staff here allows me to do that type of stuff, you’re right, it is like starting over again.”

Birch has taken over as the Raptors’ starting center and is averaging career highs in points (10.8 per game), rebounds (7.3) and assists (1.4). The 28-year-old was making $3MM this season with Orlando and should be in line for a sizable raise this summer.

“I didn’t expect this much freedom,” Birch said. “Honestly, I just thought I was just going to protect the rim, get rebounds and everything else. I wasn’t expecting this kind of freedom now. I was kind of expecting it maybe next season or something like that, but not right now.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors swingman Gary Trent Jr. will miss both games this weekend, but the team hopes to have him back Tuesday or Thursday, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Trent hasn’t played in a week because of a bruised left leg.
  • George Hill is making a difference for the Sixers as a ball-handler and veteran presence off the bench, according to Ky Carlin of USA Today’s Sixers Wire. Philadelphia had to wait for Hill, who was acquired at the trade deadline but was unavailable until Monday because of a sprained right thumb. “Having George is just another vet who can really just talk to the guards and explain certain plays, offense and defense,” Dwight Howard said. “How to defend, how to get set up in pick-and-rolls, and get our offense going, and what plays we want to run and stuff like that.”
  • Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters Friday that he’s not sure if James Harden will play any more during the regular season, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Harden has missed the past 13 games with a strained right hamstring and it doesn’t sound like he’ll be back soon. “I just don’t want to make a guess one side or the other because I don’t think it serves anyone, because it’s out of our control,” Nash said. “We’re really waiting to see how he responds and how he heals and how quickly he gets there and then how quickly can he handle high-intensity, NBA-level work. I’ll have to say we’ll see. But both are possible.”

Raptors Notes: Centers, Watanabe, Trent, Boucher

The recent additions of centers Khem Birch and Freddie Gillespie seem to have fixed the depth trouble at center that has plagued the Raptors all season, writes Josh Lewenberg of TSN. At 6’9″, both are nominally a bit undersized for the position, but compensate in strength and awareness.

“It’s definitely a good fit,” Gillespie, on his second 10-day deal with the club, said. “I think the Raptors looked at my skill set and said that’s something we could use. When a team brings you in clearly you offer something that they need.”

There’s more out of Toronto-by-way-of-Tampa:

  • Raptors head coach Nick Nurse noted that the club had considered converting Yuta Watanabe‘s contract to a standard deal for a while, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “We thought he deserved it,” Nurse said. “We had the roster spot to do it with… He’s certainly under consideration to be part of this team going forward.” Watanabe’s new deal covers next season as well as this one, but isn’t fully guaranteed for 2021/22.
  • New Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. is enjoy his tenure with his new team, as he recently told reporters (video link via The Toronto Star). “It’s an amazing fit,” Trent said. “Everybody comes in and works hard, so you know this is the perfect place for me. This is the perfect fit for me.”
  • The Raptors expect to examine the sprained left knee of forward Chris Boucher via an MRI scan tonight, and to have more information on his health going forward tomorrow, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.