GARY TRENT JR.
GARY TRENT JR. 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 215 POUNDS
POSITION: SHOOTING GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LATE LOTTERY TO PICK NUMBER 20
Despite being ranked among the 10 best players in the nation coming out of high school in 2017, Gary Trent Jr. became something of an afterthought when he committed to Duke University, because it just so happened that the Blue Devils signed fellow elite recruits Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. in the same recruiting class as well.
So, despite his NBA pedigree and his five-star ranking coming out of high school in Minnesota, was a third or fourth fiddle for Duke, behind Bagley, Carter, Trevon Duval, and Grayson Allen. For his first 394 minutes this season, Trent logged a usage rate of only 18.6%.
But Trent didn’t need to have the ball in his hands a whole lot in order for scouts to see his value at the next level. At 6’6 and 215lbs (with a 6’8) wingspan, Trent looked the part of a rugged wing who could succeed in the NBA thanks to his combination of scoring instincts and basketball IQ.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Trent shows the poise, savvy, and decision-making ability of someone who’s much older than him, considering he’s been trained by his father (Gary Trent Sr was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves teams that had Kevin Garnett and Sam Cassell, and were coached by the late Flip Saunders). Trent is very smooth with the ball in his hands, and just has that knack for being able to find a passing lane to set up his teammates at the right time.
But where Trent really shines is his ability to score. Again, thanks to his family upbringing, and inevitable hours upon hours on the basketball court, Trent shows a repertoire of basketball skills that many players take years to develop. His jump shot is compact and clean, which resulted in his 41.6% shooting and 41.1% shooting from behind the three-point arc. When he gets hot, he can absolutely shred opponents with his scoring outbursts; during one seven-game stretch this season, Trent hit upwards of 64% of his three-point attempts.
While it might seem like Trent could be an ideal “three-and-D” guy in the NBA, it’s the latter part that might be a bit worrisome for teams, especially considering his home will likely be at small forward. While he absolutely looks the part of someone who could be a very good defender, has the ability to slide laterally and contain penetration, and has the requisite toughness and grit, it just seems like he leaves a decent amount to be desired in this area.
Some will argue that he has too much of an offensive mindset, and doesn’t apply the same level of importance on the other end of the floor. Others will point to the fact that he looks to try and make too many plays (like generating steals), which could lead to him unnecessarily gambling or freelancing.
The former prep All-American has a solid chance at being a late lottery selection and should be selected by pick number 20 in the 2018 NBA Draft. NBA scouts will want to see how well he tests athletically during the NBA combine. His pure shooting ability, combined with his size and his basketball savvy, is simply too much for a team to dwell on the few wrinkles in his game he still has to iron out.
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