Future Watch: Gary Trent Jr Rookie Basketball Cards, Trail Blazers – Gary Trent Jr. was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1999. His father, is a retired professional basketball player. Gary Trent Sr. played nine years in the NBA for the Trail Blazers, Raptors, Mavericks and Timberwolves. Trent Jr. began his prep career at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. In his sophomore season, he averaged 21.5 points per game. As a junior, he averaged 26.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. That year, he earned Gatorade Minnesota Player of the Year and first-team Minneapolis All-Metro honors.
Trent Jr. would transfer to Prolific Prep Academy in Napa, California for his senior season. He went on to average 31.8 points, 6.4 boards and 3.8 assists per game. His team finished with a 29-3 overall record. After his senior season, Trent Jr. played in the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American Boys Game. He was rated as a five-star recruit across the board from Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN. Overall, he was ranked as the seventh overall recruit and number one shooting guard in the class. He would choose to attend Duke University.
In 37 games for the Blue Devils, Gary Trent Jr. averaged 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He tied a Duke Freshman record with six made three-pointers in a 89-84 loss to Boston College. In a comeback victory over Miami, he scored a career high 30 points. The Blue Devils earned a #2 seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament that year. He scored 20 points and grabbed six boards in a 74-69 loss to North Carolina in the semi-finals. Following the loss, Trent Jr. announced his intention to forego his final three seasons of eligibility and declared for the 2018 NBA draft.
Heading into the draft, scouts had Gary Trent Jr. pegged as a middle-to-late first round talent. Standing 6’6” with a 6’8.75” wingspan, he has a solid build for an NBA shooting guard. At Duke, he was the team’s third leading scorer and shot 40% from behind the arc. He can score at every level, an essential skill needed to play shooting guard at the next level. His on ball defense is solid, but his team defense will need work in the NBA. On draft night, the Sacramento Kings selected Gary Trent Jr. in the second round with the 37th overall pick. Later in the evening, he was traded to Portland for future second-round draft picks.
Despite seeing limited minutes in the NBA this season, Portland may have found themselves a steal. Trent appeared in six games for the Texas Legends of the G-League where he averaged 33.3 points and shot 50% from behind the arc on 10 attempts per game! With the Blazers, he appeared in 15 games and saw minutes in the single digits in all but one game. In Portland’s final regular season game when they were resting their starters, he played 48 points and scored 19 points in a win over the Kings.
In the playoffs, Portland has been running short rotations of 7-8 players. Trent hasn’t seen any playoff action yet. He’s been sitting behind the bench in a suit. Like many rookies, this isn’t a detriment, it’s a good learning experience. Trent had a front row seat for teammate and fellow shooting guard C.J. McCollum’s heroic 37-point performance in Portland’s game seven win over Denver. Trent didn’t play, but he witnessed what it takes to win game seven on the road. That’s important.
Looking forward, the Trail Blazers now face Golden State in the Western Conference Finals. It will be an uphill battle for Portland as they take on the defending champs. Unless the team suffers multiple injuries, Gary Trent Jr. will probably not suit up for this series. Still, he’s in a position to take a big step forward next year. Portland will need to rely on players with cheaper contracts to fill out their 2019-20 rotation and Trent is the kind of player who can give them a spark off the bench. His rookie cards are worth a look, they could increase in value once he sees more minutes in the NBA.
Look for Gary Trent Jr. in his Duke Blue Devils uniform in 2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks. He appears across Panini’s entire 2018-19 NBA catalog including Absolute, Revolution, Donruss Optic and many more!
Follow him on Twitter @gtrentjr.
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