gary trent jr

Fans are absolutely in love with the Toronto Raptors' latest breakout star

If you asked Toronto Raptors fans who they were most excited about going into the 2021-22 season, names like Scottie Barnes, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and even Goran Dragic would surely come up.

But few could have predicted the meteoric rise of one of the team's new additions from the previous season, who would grow into what can only be described as a breakout star.

Gary Trent Jr. has impressed fans to varying degrees since joining the Raptors in early 2021, but his second year on the squad has seen the 23-year-old go on an absolute tear, and his stature among the team's fanbase has grown exponentially in just the last few weeks.

In his most recent performance, Trent Jr. knocked down 31 points in an outstanding Monday night showing versus the Atlanta Hawks, with a stat line that saw the shooter sink nine of his ten shots from beyond the three-point line, plus six rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

It was Trent Jr.'s fourth consecutive game scoring 30 or more, something that has only been accomplished by a handful of players in the franchise's 27-year history.

The last player to achieve this goal? That was Kawhi Leonard in the 2018-19 season, and we all know how that one turned out.

And GTJ is finding himself in similarly legendary company with a fourth straight game hitting five or more three-pointers.

Kyle Lowry, probably the most beloved Toronto Raptor to ever wear the jersey, is the only other player in franchise history to have such a streak, but even fewer have had streaks of four or more games with 30+ points and 5+ threes.

His rise over the past few weeks has attracted the attention of not just opposing teams, but thirsty fans.

With another dominant performance under his belt, including a career-high in three-pointers made, even more fans are talking about this unexpected star.

Fans are soaking in the greatness, and though some are sure to write it off as a blip, many are seeing a bright rising star in the making.

As usual, Raptors President Masai Ujiri is getting his fair share of the credit for last year's trade, which sent fan favourite Norm Powell to Portland for a two-player package that included Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood, the latter now signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Raptors now sit at eighth place and just within a postseason berth, but with two dozen games left to play, people are optimistic about the rising star and his contribution to what is shaping up to be an explosive young team.

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