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Gary Trent Jr. NBA Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Portland Trail Blazers' Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 22, 2018

Duke's Gary Trent Jr. is seen during the first half of a regional final game against Kansas in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 25, 2018, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers traded for Gary Trent Jr. during the 2018 NBA draft Thursday. The No. 37 overall pick was selected by the Sacramento Kings.

He was Duke's third-leading scorer and one of the top-shooting freshmen in the country. Trent entered the season known for his offense, and he lived up to his reputation. He'll look to keep building on it at the next level, despite having some athletic and skill limitations to overcome.

      

Quick hitters

Size: 6'5¾"

Weight: 204.2 pounds

Wingspan: 6'8¾"

Reach: 8'2"

Pro player comparison: Buddy Hield

      

Offensive strengths

Trent drilled 97 threes in 37 games at a 40.2 percent clip. He went through some slumps, but he's a natural shooter with an effortless stroke. He shot 44.7 percent coming off screens, a reflection of the balance he plays with, particularly with his shot preparation and delivery. Though not the most explosive athlete, he was highly efficient in transition, generating 1.419 points per possession, ranking in the 94th percentile.

Offensive weaknesses

Allen's lack of burst showed around the basket in the half court, where he shot 42.5 percent. He doesn't have a runner, having missed 30-of-43 attempts. Trent became less effective when run off the three-point line. He made 34.9 percent of his shots off the dribble. Between his scary 6.8 assist percentage and the fact he ranked in the fifth percentile as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, Trent is practically a complete non-playmaker.

      

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Defensive outlook

Trent ranked in the 19th percentile defending in isolation. He was not effective last season guarding the perimeter, and he deserves some of the blame for why Duke had to switch to zone. He has good size and length for his position, but Trent's defensive awareness was a problem at times. He'll need it to catch up.

      

Rookie year projection

Trent's struggles inside the arc and defensively will make him tough to play many minutes as a rookie. He's a strong G League candidate for next season, though he should receive his opportunity to come in, space the floor and knock down open shots. But that may be all he's good for during his first NBA season.

      

Projected role: Shot-making role player

All teams need shot-makers, and Trent should be one of the best in the draft. The question is how much his weaknesses hold him back, and whether he can improve them over time. He hasn't shown to be as creative of a scorer as Devin Booker, who's succeeded with similarly average explosion. Worst case, Trent is another James Young. Best case, he's productive in the form of Hield.

      

Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and Sports-Reference.com

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