- Gary Trent Jr. won’t negotiate a contract extension with the Blazers to become a restricted free agent.
- Trent was one of the breakout stars of the Bubble Tournament in Florida.
- He scored 18 points on 3-5 three-point shooting during their first preseason game last Friday.
Gary Trent Jr. is betting on himself rather than taking the security that the Portland Trail Blazers are offering him.
As a second round pick, Trent is eligible to to sign a contract extension worth $53.76M. If he doesn’t sign an extension deal, he will be a restricted free agent after the season. By being such, he can sign offer sheets that other teams will offer him. But Because the Blazers have his Bird Rights, they can match any offer even if it means going over the salary cap and still keep him.
Trent will make $1.66M this season but he isn’t taking the extension that Portland can pay him:
Gary Trent Jr. will not negotiate a contract extension, enter restricted FA #RipCity https://t.co/4XZJUcJhgh
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) December 12, 2020
Bubble Breakout Star
Gary Trent Jr.’s breakout performance in the bubble ?#BestofNBARestart pic.twitter.com/Rp16vHVk2b
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) November 8, 2020
Trent Jr. is the son and namesake of former NBA player Gary Trent who was the 11th pick of the 1995 NBA Draft who was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. Gary Sr. played for the Blazers, Raptors, Mavericks, and Timberwolves in the NBA before finishing his career in Europe.
Meanwhile, Gary Jr. was the 37th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. Like his dad, he was traded to the Blazers after getting picked. But Gary Jr. spent time with the Texan Legends in the G League before getting his main team call. Prior to the Bubble Tournament, he averaged a decent 7.7 points per game on 20 minutes of action per outing. But things changed at Disney World.
Trent became one of the catalysts for the Blazers’ run to make the playoffs. Not only did he become one of the best three-point shooters in the tournament, he also evolved into a tough defender and competitor. He averaged 16.9 points per game while shooting 50.7% on 8.4 attempts per game from behind the three-point area. He helped Portland beat Memphis in the play-in tournament before the team lost to the eventual champions Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.
Picking Up Where He Left Off
Gary Trent Jr picked up right where he left off in the bubble. 18 points and hit 3/5 from three. Big year ahead. pic.twitter.com/zMgQ49Zdm3
— BlueDevilStop (@BlueDevilStop) December 12, 2020
During the Blazers’ opening postseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, Trent picked up where he left off. The 21-year old shot 6-13 from the floor including 3-5 from the three-point area to score 18 points while grabbing three rebounds and issuing two assists in 28 minutes of playing time. Portland won the game easily 127-102 and although it was just the first preseason game for the team, it could be a sign of things to come.
Although the Blazers came up short again last season, they showed a lot of grit and poise in coming all the way back to beat Memphis in the play-in tournament just to get to the playoffs. The oddsmakers aren’t too high on the Blazers this season. SportsBetting.ag has Portland with only the third best odds to win the Northwest Division at +325.. They also only have the 9th best odds to win the Western Conference at +2800.
But with top three scorers Damian Lillard, C.J. McColllum, and Carmelo Anthony returning, Portland has an excellent core to build on last season’s progress. The Blazers also added Robert Covington, Derrick Jones. Jr. and Harry Giles to strengthen their line-up and if Gary Trent Jr. continues to improve, the Blazers could be the darkhorse team in the Western Conference.