This is the sixth installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects. This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft.
Gary Trent Jr.
School - Class
Duke (the team America loves to hate)
Age at time of draft
6’6" (with shoes)
Average Mock Draft rank
Wesley Matthews (6'5" Height, 6'8" wingspan)
Gary Trent Jr. is the son of former NBA player, Gary Trent. Gary Trent Sr. had an 9 year career with the NBA playing for the Blazers, Mavericks, Raptors and Timberwolves before playing two more years overseas in Greece and Italy.
Trent Jr. is physically mature with a with a strong 215 pound frame and NBA ready body. He has good size at 6'6" for a SG, and decent length with a 6’8½" wingspan. He possesses only average athleticism and lateral quickness however, and those weaknesses will limit his NBA upside. He is a tough, physical player that competes with poise and despite being a Freshman, plays like a veteran.
The distinct skill that will get Gary Trent Jr. drafted is his 3-point shooting. He is a knock-down 3-point shooter. Currently shooting around 42% at the College level, he has NBA 3-point range. His release is a tad slow, but his form is picture perfect and his mechanics are sound and consistent.
In a loss against Boston College, Trent Jr. hit 6-13 three pointers, with two being highly contested. Against Miami he went 6-9 and against Virginia Tech he was 5-9 from three. His three point shot has been consistent and effective all year for the Blue Devils.
He lacks an elite first step off the dribble which limits his offensive production. He rarely is able to get by his man to get to the lane on straight line drives. When he does get into the lane, he has trouble finishing over length. Developing a floater would help. He moves well without the ball and makes quick back door cuts, but his lack of explosiveness hinders him here as well.
His lack of elite quickness and average athleticism also hampers his ability to create shots, either for himself or for his teammates. His dribble is adequate enough in transition and for straight line drives, but he needs to develop more advanced ball handling skills. Although he has a very good feel for the game and is a competent passer, he is more of a ball mover than a shot creator.
Defensively, Trent Jr. is a mixed bag. He knows where to be defensively in a team concept and he rarely has defensive lapses. He's big enough and strong enough to switch onto bigger players. He can hold his ground if the offensive player posts up, and generally stays in a good, low defensive stance. On the other hand, he needs to make up for his lack of elite lateral quickness with effort, anticipation and smarts - and that may not be enough to get by at the NBA level.
He is a good rebounder for a SG, averaging over 4.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. He is also averaging 1.5 steals per minute, mostly based on anticipation and playing the passing lanes. He rarely blocks shots, and does not effectively contest perimeter shots.
- Good size. NBA body
- High Basketball IQ
- Moves well off the ball
- Very good 3-point shooter
- Excellent catch-and-shoot
- Excellent free throw shooter
- Ball handling is effective, but not elite
- Plays with toughness and determination
- Not an explosive athlete
- Lacks elite lateral quickness
- Has trouble finishing over length at the rim. (needs a floater)
- Moves the ball well, but not much of a shot creator.
- Lacks elite first step off the dribble
- May struggle to guard quicker players
- Inefficient scorer inside the arc
Known as a #1 option and elite scorer coming out of High School, Trent Jr. has adapted his game at Duke. With elite big men Marvin Bagley Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. and an elite scorer in Grayson Allen - Gary Trent Jr. has changed into a very good role player. He has morphed into an excellent spot-up shooter, playing off Allen and Bagley. That bodes well for his stock in the upcoming draft as he will undoubtedly have to make similar adjustments once he is in the NBA.
Trent could probably use another season in college to hone his ball handling and shot creation skills, but with the lack of true wings in this year's draft, he has a real chance to be drafted in the first round. His spot up shooting from beyond the arc alone should be enough for teams to consider drafting him in the late first round.
Fit for the Wizards
Despite the Wizard's need for a backup shooting guard, Gary Trent's lack of explosive athleticism, slow foot speed, and potential defensive issues at the NBA level would make him a poor fit.