5 free agents for the Orlando Magic to keep an eye on

Everyone is trying to connect Fred VanVleet to the Orlando Magic. But the rumor really speaks to the Magic's buying power when they are ready. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Everyone is trying to connect Fred VanVleet to the Orlando Magic. But the rumor really speaks to the Magic's buying power when they are ready. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic
Gary Trent Jr. is a young, knockdown shooter who could help the Orlando Magic greatly. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

5 free agents for the Orlando Magic to keep an eye on

Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm G MP FG% 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL TOV PTS
2022-23 24 TOR 50 33.6 .442 .369 .532 .834 2.6 1.6 1.7 0.9 18.6
Career 254 29.0 .422 .384 .523 .825 2.3 1.4 1.2 0.7 14.5

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/16/2023.

The real target many Orlando Magic fans have had on their radars from the Toronto Raptors has actually been Fred VanVleet’s backcourt mate in Gary Trent Jr. It seemed more likely Trent would be the one to leave the Raptors, especially with the Raptors seeming to favor a bigger lineup that features Scottie Barnes at the 2.

Trent is simply a knock-down shooter when he is on, hitting 36.9 percent of his threes this year and 38.4 percent of his threes overall at a decent volume. He averages 7.2 3-point attempts per game and has shot more than 7.0 3-pointers per game in each of the last three years.

Orlando’s 3-point specialist in Gary Harris is taking only 4.0 per game. The Magic have three players shooting 4.0 per game led by Franz Wagner’s 4.5 attempts per game.

Orlando have had only seven players in franchise history take more than 7.0 3-point attempts per game in a season. The last was Devin Cannady in 2022 at 7.4 per game and the last before that was Evan Fournier in 2021.

This is not always a good thing. But a clear weakness for the Magic has been their 3-point volume. This just is not a team that spaces the floor and takes a bunch of threes.

Again, this could be a good thing because the team is not settling for shots from deep and trying to attack the paint. But everyone knows the Magic will need a knock-down shooter and to increase this volume to compete at higher levels.

This is why Trent is undoubtedly one of the targets this offseason — for the Magic and likely for several teams, even to stay with the Raptors.

Trent is maybe not an elite shooter, but he is a very good one, hitting on 40.2 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers (the feet-set threes, the Magic really like to get). He rates in the 78th percentile in Basketball-Index’s 3-point shot-making metric.

If Orlando can get kick outs, Trent is the kind of player who will make them. And he has the ability to create those shots for himself too. This is not just a stand-still shooter.

If there is a most-likely target for the Magic this offseason, Trent is the guy.

He is certainly looking for a raise off his $17.5 million salary (he has a player option for $18.8 million for next year that he is expected to decline). That is going to be the starting amount. it will cost $85-90 million over four years to grab him.

But the Magic need shooting bad. And Trent could be a big boost in that department.

Other Shooters to Chase: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Caris LeVert