Monday, Feb 6, 2023

With trade rumours swirling, Raptors’ Trent Jr. ready for anything on long trip

SACRAMENTO — Gary Trent Jr. says that packing for the longest road trip of his NBA career is no big deal.He swears it’s true.Forgive those of us who..


With trade rumours swirling, Raptors’ Trent Jr. ready for anything on long trip

Gary Trent Jr. says that packing for the longest road trip of his NBA career is no big deal.


SACRAMENTO — Gary Trent Jr. says that packing for the longest road trip of his NBA career is no big deal.

He swears it’s true.

Forgive those of us who travel commercially and are determined to manage with carry-on to avoid both baggage fees and offset the possibility (likelihood?, certainty?) that luggage will go missing — we are skeptical.

Doesn’t it make sense that the Toronto Raptors‘ most noted clothes horse and style junkie would require some strategic planning or the help of a stylist — or maybe even a moving company — for a seven-game, 13-day journey that kicks off Wednesday night in Sacramento?

Apparently not.

“I’m going to go to my closet, I’m going to randomly take whatever I think is gonna look right and is going to match and just throw open my suitcase and I leave my house,” he told me of his pre-trip planning for a journey that includes stops in San Francisco, Portland, Phoenix, Utah, Houston, and Memphis.

“So for a long trip like this, I’m going to take five or six pants, throw in some T-shirts, five shirts, four or five pairs of shoes. Depending on where we are going, I might try and buy something there. And then [on game day] take my nap, look in my suitcase and put on whatever looks right.”

Maybe it is that easy.

But even for seasoned NBA travellers – who it should be mentioned, fly by team charter, aren’t subject to baggage limits, don’t have to worry about workout gear getting stinky or even have to carry their own bags – the upcoming Raptors trip is a lot.


It’s the first time in 15 seasons the Raptors have had a seven-game trip — and that time, back in 2007, there was a four-day break for Christmas. It’s just the fourth occasion in franchise history they’ve played seven straight road games. So it’s new for everybody.

Seven-year veteran Fred VanVleet figures it’s going to take more than one bag.

“I’d probably start with seven game-day outfits, whatever you’re going to wear to the game,” he said, when I asked him about his packing strategy for the trip that will have the Raptors away from home for 13 days. “Then, you know, the necessities: underwear, socks, you got to make sure you got double pairs. You’ve got your recovery stuff. So start with the big suitcase first and work your way down from there. It’s a task, for sure.”

And not just for those doing the packing.

“I usually leave my room and my house a mess and my wife’s gotta deal with the aftermath when I’m packing,” said VanVleet. “That’s the downside.”

And Trent Jr.?

“I don’t know. He might be a shopping-when-he-get-there type of guy,” said VanVleet. “He usually got some crazy fits. I don’t know if you can stuff those in one suitcase  … he’s a heavy luggage kind of guy.”

The trip is interesting for more than just its length and logistics. The timing of it is noteworthy too, as the Raptors will be arriving home in the early hours of Feb. 6, just days before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.

The Raptors roster has figured prominently in trade speculation given their disappointing season and the contract status of some of their key players, with Trent Jr. – widely expected to decline his player option this summer and become a free agent – an oft-mentioned trade target.

The just-turned 24-year-old is taking all of that in stride also.

“I look at it, keep rolling, can’t really care about it,” Trent Jr. said to me recently when I asked him about the trade rumours swirling.  “Ever since I came into the league with my current situation, with my contract situation, just from the Day 1 of being here, I’ve always been a trade target: contract-wise, teams trying to swap out young players for old players, it’s always something, But, again, it doesn’t matter. 

“If I continue to work, it’s gonna work itself out.”

He likely has a point. The six-foot-five shooting guard’s whimsical sense of style and easy-going off-court personality shouldn’t over-shadow his on-court competitiveness and his dedication to his craft, which is fierce and relentless, at times almost to his detriment.

But trade speculation is nothing new to him. He was part of the rumour mill a year ago when the Raptors were linked to Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner, and again this past summer when the Kevin Durant talk was boiling. The Raptors acquired Trent Jr. from Portland at the trade deadline in 2021 when he was in the last year of his contract and the Trail Blazers wanted to add a veteran in former Raptor Norm Powell.

Through it all, Trent Jr. has earned respect throughout the organization for the way he’s handled what is in effect a contract year.  During a season where, as coach Nick Nurse put it earlier, “the vibe has seemed off,” Trent Jr. has been reliable and consistent.

“He’s been the least of our worries,” said one insider.


It’s why those close to the situation have been saying that it’s far from a foregone conclusion that the Raptors are determined to move their most consistent, high-volume three-point shooter and third-leading scorer.

The smart money might even bet against it.

Despite a miserable slump in November when he was required to carry a heavier-than-normal offensive load while the Raptors struggled with multiple injuries to the top of their rotation, Trent Jr. is trending towards career highs in scoring and efficiency.

But it was how Trent Jr. comported himself when he was struggling that earned him a new level of respect internally.

When he was moved to the bench briefly in early December by Nurse, Trent Jr. didn’t fold, but instead played some of his best basketball of his season until that stage, averaging 18.3 points on 49.5 per cent shooting — 39.2 per cent from deep — across seven games off the bench.

Rather than complain, Trent Jr. — always a diligent worker — doubled down, routinely taking extended post-game or pre-game — and often both — shooting workouts with Raptors assistant coach Rico Hines and his father, former Raptor Gary Trent Sr.

But there’s such a thing as too much. Trent Jr. had to be shut down for four games in mid-December for what was described as quadriceps soreness.

“I was trying to do a lot,” he said to me, detailing the issue for the first time. “I was doing three, four workouts and then trying to play a game. It was just me trying to get back right to where I was before I go crazy.”

“It was soreness, strain, overuse,” he said of the leg troubles that kept him out. “Just going crazy, trying to push through the limit … I was back to playing 35, 40 minutes, so that’s a lot [and with the extra workouts] it can be overkill, that’s when you get overuse injuries and what not.”

But Trent Jr. seems to have struck the right balance since. After giving his legs some rest, he’s played some of the best basketball of his career. In 16 games since returning to the lineup, he’s averaging 21.4 points a game, shooting 41.1 per cent from three — on nearly eight attempts a game — and collecting 2.1 steals a game.

For context, the only players in league history to average three threes a game and two steals a game while shooting better than 40 per cent from deep for an entire season are Steph Curry during his consecutive MVP seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and Paul George in 2017-18 when he was third-team all-NBA.

Not to suggest that Trent Jr. will hit those marks for an entire season, just that the five-year veteran is playing at an exceptionally high level.

Which is why his situation is so fascinating as the deadline approaches.

The Raptors have signalled they are willing to re-sign Trent Jr., and sources with knowledge of the situation say he would be happy to re-sign this summer.

“Of course,” they said.

But at what cost, is the rub.


High-volume three-point shooting is a premium skill, and it’s hard for teams to acquire. It’s partially why players in Trent Jr.’s company — at least statistically — have been locked up by their existing teams on lucrative deals: this past off-season Tyler Herro got $120 million (over four years) in guaranteed money in his contract extension from Miami with $10 million more in incentives; Jordan Poole got a $123-million (and additional $17 million in incentives) extension from Golden State. Another comparable is Portland’s Anfernee Simons, who signed a four-year $100-million extension last summer.

Which is one reason Trent Jr. is thought to be available at the deadline: if Toronto isn’t ready to sign him to a contract well north of $100 million, the thinking goes, the Raptors need to trade him so they don’t lose one of their starters and best three-point shooters — something the Raptors are don’t have a surplus of — for no return.

But the reverse is also true: the chances of the Raptors finding a player as good or better than Trent Jr. — an elite shooter at just 24 years old — via trade is slim, and there is almost no chance of replacing his production if he leaves in free agency.

In that context, it is in some ways more likely that the Raptors sign Trent Jr. than trade him before the end of the current road trip on in the days thereafter.

Regardless of how it unfolds, rest assured Trent will have enough clothes on hand to manage any contingency.



By: Michael Grange
Title: With trade rumours swirling, Raptors’ Trent Jr. ready for anything on long trip
Sourced From: www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article/with-trade-rumours-swirling-raptors-trent-jr-ready-for-anything-on-long-trip/
Published Date: 01-25-2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the Toronto Raptors after Kawhi Leonard left?

It was a huge year for Toronto Raptors. The Raptors won 53 playoff games in the 2020 season. All-Star point-guard Kyle Lowry, who averaged 19.7 and 7.5 points per game, was key to the team’s success. Pascal Siakam was Lowry's All-Star counterpart, scoring 22.9 points per game and grabbing 8.3 rebounds. Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet made significant contributions for the Raptors. The team's talent and depth helped them overcome injuries to key players, such as Serge Ibaka & Marc Gasol.

The team was led by Coach of the Year Nick Nurse and All-NBA Second Teamer Pascal Siakam. . Coach Nurse made bold strategic decisions that paid off, and Siakam emerged as a superstar, averaging nearly 20+ points per game. Kyle Lowry was chosen to the 2020 NBA All-Star roster, his sixth consecutive selection.

The playoffs began earlier than usual this year. They took place at the "Bubble", Bay Lake in Florida, near Orlando. The Raptors faced off against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round and won 4-0. The Raptors lost 0-2 to the Boston Celtics in round two, but OG Anunoby scored a buzzer-beater for Toronto's third game. The series reached seven games and Boston prevailed.


Is Canada home to many NBA teams?

The Toronto Raptors were the Canadian NBA's only team in 2001. The Vancouver Grizzlies were an NBA team from 1995 to 2001 but relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies. Canada did have two teams--the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies--for a brief time during the late 1990s, but no other Canadian cities currently have an NBA team. Canadians are avid basketball fans and often travel to the United States in order to catch games. Since 1995, the Toronto Raptors have been a well-known team and draw large crowds to their Scotiabank Arena home games. The NBA All-Star Weekend is attended by hundreds of Canadians each year. With a population of over 38 million, Canada can have more than one NBA team. Many North American basketball fans have debated the possibility of a second team. The Toronto Raptors are the only Canadian team in the NBA.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), a professional league of basketball, is located in Canada. Six teams are represented in this league, which includes the Fraser Valley Bandits (Abbotsford BC), Edmonton Stingers, Edmonton, Alberta, Guelph Nighthawks, Guelph Nighthawks, Guelph (Ontario), Hamilton Honey Badgers, Hamilton, Ontario, Saskatchewan Rattlers, Saskatoon (Saskatoon), Saskatchewan, and Niagara River Lions, St. Catharines (Ontario). The CEBL is currently the only Canadian professional basketball league.

The National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC) was a professional men's basketball league that operated from 2011 to 2020. It included eight teams from Halifax and Moncton. Saint John. Cape Breton. Summerside. London. Windsor. Kitchener. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBLC was forced to cease operations in 2020.

Canada also has junior basketball leagues such as the Canadian National Basketball League(CNB), a semiprofessional men’s league based out of Vancouver, BC. CNB includes teams from British Columbia (Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario). The Canadian Elite Development League (CEDL) is another junior basketball league in Canada that fields teams primarily from the Greater Toronto Area. AC) and Canadian Youth Basketball League. These leagues provide opportunities for young basketball players to develop their skills while competing in a competitive environment.


How was the Toronto Raptors' inaugural year of existence?

The Toronto Raptors' first season in the NBA was a difficult one. Brendan Malone was hired by Isiah Thomas to be the head coach. The team quickly acquired many talented players through drafts and trades. They lost to the Chicago Bulls one time that season, but they ended up with a 21–61 win-loss record overall.

Toronto drafted Marcus Camby in 1996. Camby became Rookie Of The Year and was a part of the starting line up with Alvin Williams, at point guard. Damon Stoudamire left Toronto in 1997. More roster changes were made as Toronto sought to create a foundation for future success.

Despite all of these changes, the team struggled through its first few seasons in NBA. Toronto finally made it to the playoffs in 2000 after a period for rebuilding and transition. Unfortunately, the New York Knicks won the series.


What does "We The North", mean?

The Toronto Raptors use the anthem "We The North", also known as We The North Nation. It was composed by Drake and Noah "40" Shebib.

Drake composed the song while he was staying in Toronto with a friend. He completed his album Take Care with Kanye West. Drake also wrote some lyrics about his hometown during the recording process. Drake wanted the song to represent all Canadians. The song speaks about unity and pride as well as hope.

Drake began working on the melody to We The North in London, when he was filming the video for "Nice For What". The instrumental version of the song was recorded in one take.

Drake was working on the lyrics, and 40 came up the chorus. Drake heard the hook and asked 40 if he could record it. Together, they worked to create the final product.

The official music clip for "We The North Anthem", released on October 5, 2018, was made public. The video featured Shawn Mendes, a Canadian singer-songwriter, performing with Drake and other musicians.


Why did NBA leave Vancouver?

The dispute with Vancouver City Council over arena financing led to NBA leaving Vancouver. The City planned to provide $40 million for the construction of a new arena that would feature 12 luxury suites and two restaurants. However, the City Council wanted to give the team owners $60 million in taxpayer money to pay off their existing debt. The city would need to borrow $200 million to construct the arena. However, the owners of the team only had to repay $20 million in debt. This would result in the city being responsible for paying the rest of its loan.

The City Council stated that they would be open to the plan if the NBA agreed not to leave Rogers Arena until the new facility opens. The league refused to sign on, claiming that the arena was no longer large enough. They were not interested in playing there anymore, as it was too small. They felt asking them to continue playing in a smaller venue was unfair when they weren't getting any extra revenue.

The City Council then asked the province to step in and help out by offering financial assistance. The Province agreed to contribute $150 million, but the City Council still required $100 million. That was when the City decided that it would instead concentrate on building an arena downtown.


Who owns Toronto Raptors

The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). MLSE is also the owner of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, MLS’s Toronto FC, and the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. The AHL’s Toronto Marlies and the Toronto Rock lacrosse teams are all part of MLSE.


Statistics

  • This improved during the 2006–07 regular season to an average of 18,258 fans (13th in the league), 92.2 percent capacity at the Air Canada Centre. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • By 2018, estimated the Raptors were worth $1.4 billion, 12th in the NBA. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • After Thomas attempted to execute a letter of intent with Slaight to purchase the team failed, he resigned from his position in November and sold his 9 percent stake in the team to Slaight. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • By 2018, estimated the Raptors were worth $1.4 billion, 12th in the NBA. (en.wikipedia.org)
  • Thomas named Raptors' GM NBA superstar to have 10% stake in the new franchise". (en.wikipedia.org)

External Links

basketball-reference.com

thestar.com

globalnews.ca

bleacherreport.com

How To

How to Get a Toronto Raptors Authentic Jersey

An authentic Toronto Raptors jersey is the best way to show your support for the team. High quality jerseys are made using high quality materials. They have the same cut and designs as the players. There are several options to obtain an authentic Raptors Jersey, regardless of whether you want one that is modified or replica.

The easiest and best way to get the Toronto Raptors jerseys is online. There are many options available for jerseys for children, adults, and men. You can choose from different designs, such as home, away or alternate. So you can get exactly the look that you desire. Accessory options are also available to complement your Raptors game day look.

The Toronto Raptors teamshop at Scotiabank Arena has something for everyone. There is a greater selection here of jerseys and team merchandise, including limited edition items like autographed ones.

You can also find them online at many retailers if you want an authentic Raptors uniform. Be sure to do your research before buying from an unknown retailer. You might also be interested in special discounts or promotions that could save money.

A Toronto Raptors jersey goes beyond being a simple piece of clothing. For any sports fan, it's a source of pride. Many fans treasure their team's jerseys. But the jersey is not just another piece. They have a special meaning for the people who wear them.

They are a symbol of excellence in basketball. Fans cherish these jerseys because they've watched the players grow up, become superstars, and perform on the court.

In addition to watching the game, fans enjoy seeing the players play in person. Fans feel a closer connection with the athletes.

Toronto Raptors jerseys are a great way to show players' support while enjoying the game's action.

Here are the steps to get an authentic Toronto Raptors jersey :

  1. Visit Official Stores and Retailers - To purchase a Toronto Raptors jersey, you should visit an official retailer or store like Nike, Adidas Fanatic, Mitchell & Ness, Fanatic, Mitchell & Ness, or Nike. These items are available at any sports shop.
  2. Look for Authenticity - Every item should come with a certificate of authenticity. Verify that the jersey has the correct number of players and the correct name. Check if there is a patch or sticker. Also, inspect the jersey to see if it has any damage.
  3. Purchase Online - If you don't have access to an official store, you may be able to purchase your desired jersey online. Just make sure that the seller offers free shipping.
  4. Wait for your Item. - Carefully take care of your jersey once it arrives. Wear it indoors. You can only use it to watch the game. Never wash it.