Person of Interest: New Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.

Jesse Fuchs and Michael Grange discuss the Raptors trading Norm Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers and if it was good deal for Toronto.

The Toronto Raptors didn't deal Kyle Lowry at Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but they still had a busy day.

Guards Norman Powell, Terence Davis and Matt Thomas were all shipped out, with Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood and a pair of draft picks coming back.

Of all the assets Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster acquired, it's Trent Jr. who stands out the most. The 22-year-old was enjoying a breakout season with the Portland Trail Blazers prior to the move, averaging 15 points per game on 40 per cent shooting from three-point range. Pundits south of the border are a little confused as to why Portland was willing to give him up.

Here's a closer look at the player who could become another key piece of Toronto's young core alongside Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby.

Second-round success story

Much like the player he was traded for, Trent Jr. has not let his draft position impact his mentality. The Ohio native was selected 37th overall in 2018, but has been providing first-round value since finding consistent playing time last season.

He's already looking like one of the steals of that draft, with several teams certainly regretting passing on the opportunity to add him. He'll only rub more salt in the wounds of his doubters as he continues to improve and surpass more of his third-year peers.

Another guy who bet on himself

VanVleet famously "bet on himself" after going undrafted out of Wichita State. He's now an instrumental piece of the Raptors' present and future and is being paid a handsome $85 million over four years.

Trent Jr. is hoping to follow in VanVleet's footsteps. He was eligible to sign a four-year extension worth up to $53.76 million, but in December stated his intention to play out the 2020-21 season and become a restricted free agent this summer.

His play thus far has likely earned him a raise on what he could have made, but it still takes an iron gut to turn down that type of money.

Second generation Raptor

Trent Jr. isn't the first member of his family to suit up for the Raptors. Gary Trent Sr. played 13 games for Toronto in 1997-98 and the conditions surrounding the elder Trent's trade are spookily similar to his son's.

Trent Sr. only spent 13 games with the Raptors, so you're forgiven if you don't have lasting memories of his tenure. The trade did hold significant weight for the overall history of the franchise, though. He was part of the package that brought Alvin Williams to Toronto, with another iconic point guard in Damon Stoudamire heading the other way.

While his father is important for being involved in a crucial trade, the Raptors will be hoping Trent Jr. impacts the franchise in a meaningful way with his actual play.

Highly coveted out of high school

Trent Jr. was a consensus five-star recruit coming out of high school and was a 2017 McDonald's All-American alongside a number of fellow NBAers including Trae Young, Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton and Michael Porter Jr.

Trent Jr. was heavily recruited, with interest from Michigan State and UCLA among others before he committed to Duke. He spent one year with the Blue Devils before declaring for the NBA draft, averaging 14.5 points per game on an ACC-best 40.3 per cent three-point shooting.

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