The fit of Gary Trent Jr. on the Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers have two high-octane guards who can shoot, handle and score, and two elite defenders at the 4 and 5 who largely don’t shoot at all. This past season their answers at small forward either couldn’t shoot, couldn’t defend, or a lukewarm combination of both.
Trent Jr. at least gets them much closer to that true two-way player. On offense he has a smooth shooting stroke, shooting 38.4 percent from deep for his career on a healthy number of attempts. Since joining the Raptors he has shot 7.3 three-pointers per game, helping to pry open space for the Raptors’ many non-shooters.
On defense Trent can also hold his own, with a nose for generating steals and pushing the ball in transition. Despite standing just 6’5″ he has a 6’9″ wingspan, enough for him to reliably defend both guards and wings. On the forward-laden Raptors he has most often played guard, but on the guard-heavy Portland Trail Blazers to start his career he played often at small forward.
Trent isn’t a lockdown defender, but his volume of steals will help end possessions and build up the Cavs’ scoring. He isn’t much of a passer and playmaker, but he can shoot off the dribble or the catch and would provide necessary spacing.
The problem, however, is that the Cavaliers almost certainly can’t acquire Trent. This “ambitious target” is a bit out of reach.