Gary Trent Jr. scored 67 points in two games for the Toronto Raptors over the weekend. That tally includes a career-high 44 as he missed just two of 19 shots from the field on Saturday in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Sharp Shooting Guard was acquired for Norman Powell on the deadline and is making his offer to be part of the team’s future plans.
Trent’s 89.5 percent shot from the ground in Saturday’s victory scored the highest field goal percentage in a 40-point performance since Alonzo Mourning in February 2000. The scoring opus saw Trent become the second youngest player in franchise history with 40 points in a game. , while also securing the second-highest effective field goal percentage ever in a 40-point game.
Despite being primarily a shooting specialist in terms of fantasy, Trent – enrolled in about half of ESPN leagues – enjoys a new level of scoring freedom in Toronto that demands more attention.
Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers: 24 points (9-16 FG), 30 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz: 42 points (12-31 FG), 3 rebounds, 4 assists
Caris LeVert, Indiana Pacers: 34 points (14-20 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks
Jonas Valanciunas, Memphis Grizzlies: 34 points (16-25 FG), 22 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks
Robert Covington, Portland Trail Blazers: 3 points (1-3 FG), 1 rebound, 0 assists, 2 steals, 2 TO
Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors: 2 points (0-3 FG), 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 TO
Steven Adams, New Orleans Pelicans: 0 points (0-1 FG), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 TO
Take away on weekends
Kanter recorded the most rebounds and offensive rebounds in Trail Blazers history on Saturday. The big man has only become the fourth player with 30 boards in the past 20 seasons, and the first since Dwight Howard in 2018. For some context on how rare this performance is – in the past 20 seasons, there is had four 30- rebound games and 23 60-point games.
Sometimes the biggest winners by the trade deadline don’t surface for a few games. Detroit’s acquisition of Cory Joseph a few weeks ago hasn’t made much waves, as the keeper has averaged 15.3 points and 9.3 dimes in the last three games and has registered at least five. assists in seven of his last nine appearances for Detroit. Joining a Pistons team without a proven NBA playmaker, Joseph has become a significant fantasy option. True to Detroit, rookie Saddiq Bey has scored 25 points twice in his last four games and is officially on top of his early April crunch.
The Rockets have another waiver gem to discuss with Kelly Olynyk, who has scored 31 goals in two weekend games and effectively averaged 17 points with Houston since arriving from Miami a few weeks ago. Adding a new dimension to his profile, the stretching center has averaged 13.3 rebounds over the past three games. I’ve discussed Olynyk a bit in this column before, but it’s quite remarkable how he has become a fantastic bankable option for a shocked Houston team.
Returning Saturday from a weeks-long injury, Darius Bazley of Oklahoma City produced 17 points with 14 combined assists and rebounds in a loss to Philadelphia. Bazley is a free agent in over 80% of the leagues and joins a rotation that recently pulled several veterans out of the picture. Tony Bradley begins to outdo Moses Brown in Oklahoma City. Bradley was brilliant against his former team on Saturday and might be worth watching if he does eventually take on a starting role.
Injuries to note
Kyrie Irving of Brooklyn is listed as absent for personal reasons, while James Harden still suffers from a hamstring injury.
Advantage Analytics for Monday
Danuel House Jr., Eric Gordon and David Nwaba all left for Houston tonight. Kevin Porter Jr. and Jae’Sean Tate are set to play important roles for the exhausted Rockets. Tate only hit three shots on Saturday and nonetheless delivered a stellar statistic with four steals and 11 rebounds.
Versatility is valuable in most Fantastic Formats, which makes Tate’s ability to recover from poor scoring performance particularly noteworthy. With those three wings on the ground, Tate usage rises to just over 20%, helping its case as a solid streaming option.
Best players to watch on Monday
Joel Embiid and the 76ers are in Dallas tonight to face the Mavericks in a contest aired on ESPN. While Embiid is a viable MVP contender, the player to watch is Ben Simmons. The defensive player of the year contender smothered Luka Doncic earlier this season, making Monday’s game even more important for the Dallas superstar.