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Blazers’ Investment in Gary Trent Jr. Might Pay Off

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Trent Jr. is making his case for his contract, Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report reflects.

Rhode Island v Duke Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers signed Gary Trent Jr. to a guaranteed three-year deal worth $3.91 million, not what many were expecting for a player who dropped into the second round and a team with little financial flexibility. However, Trent Jr. is showing in Summer League why that contract might end up being worth it, Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report says:

But Tuesday, Trent made it clear why Portland believes in him.

The 19-year-old dropped a game-high 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-8 on three-pointers, and he dipped into his bag of scoring tricks to scorch the Spurs from a variety of angles.

While he wasn’t conventionally labeled as a catch-and-shoot threat throughout the pre-draft process, Trent looked particularly sharp against San Antonio when he was breaking out one- and two-dribble pull-ups off screens or in isolation sets.

The Blazers already have a crowded rotation with CJ McCollum, Evan Turner, Seth Curry, Nik Stauskas and Moe Harkless, so it’s hard to imagine Trent will pick up regular minutes in the short term.

But if his scoring arsenal continues to expand, the Blazers’ investment should look savvy once the depth chart isn’t as cluttered.

Trent is averaging 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 22.3 minutes per game. He’s second on the Summer League team in scoring and fifth in minutes per game.