Gary Trent Jr., a one-and-done at Duke, was taken in the second round and 37th overall in Thursday’s NBA draft by Sacramento, then traded to Portland.
The Trail Blazers will give up two future second-rounders to the Kings for the rights to Trent, a former Apple Valley High School standout.
Trent, a 6-6 shooting guard, averaged 14.5 points per game for the Blue Devils, shooting 40.2 percent from three-point range.
The 19-year-old was a Minnesota state high school champion when he was a sophomore and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. He decided to forgo his senior season at Apple Valley and enrolled at a California prep school, Prolific Prep in Napa, because it would better prepare him for his collegiate and professional future.
The son of former Timberwolves forward Gary Trent was raised around the NBA. He was primarily a spot-up shooter on a Duke team that had three first-round picks Thursday — Marvin Bagley III (second to Sacramento), Wendell Carter Jr. (seventh to Chicago) and Grayson Allen (21st to Utah).
With two gifted fellow freshmen — Bagley and Carter — doing their work near the basket, Duke needed Trent to find the floor’s open spaces and shoot. He broke J.J. Redick’s freshman three-point school record by making 97, two more than Redick in 2003.
Trent is part of an Apple Valley pipeline that sent former high school teammates Tyus Jones to Durham for one championship season before him. Tre Jones, Tyus’ younger brother, is headed to the Blue Devils next season.
Born nearly four years after his father was drafted 11th overall and dealt to Portland in a draft-day deal by Milwaukee in 1995, Gary Jr. grew up with a dad who coached him and with the game all around him.
“Just being in the locker room when I was a kid, playing with Sam Cassell’s son, I remember those little things,” he said. “[My father] has given me everything. We’ve been working on my game since I was 5 years old, so every question teams now will ask me and what the pre-draft workouts will be like, he gave me the blueprint.
“The connections he has and everybody he knows, the way he can talk to me about certain things, it’s almost like I have a cheat sheet in a certain sense.”
Omari knows chess
Villanova freshman big man Omari Spellman knows chess and he knows basketball, even when played at its highest levels in the NBA, is no chess match.
He learned to play at Sunday church program when he was 7 or 8, follows 27-year-old Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and has watched footage of vintage Bobby Fischer matches.
“They showed me how to move the pieces, and I’ve just been interested ever since,” said Spellman, an NCAA champion who was the final pick of the first round, 30th overall to Atlanta. “Sometimes, people say basketball is a game of chess mentally. For me personally, I use my will to compete. I know scouting reports. I know coverages. But me personally, I don’t look at it as a chess match. I look at it as a dogfight.”
There’s at least one advantage to having an older brother who showed you the way to the NBA. Dayton freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo doesn’t have to spell it every time he gives somebody his name.
“I feel like most of the people now know how to spell my last name,” said Antetokounmpo, a 6-10 forward whom the Wolves and other teams have considered because of his size, agility and ability to switch screens and defend multiple positions. “They didn’t know how to do it two years ago or a year ago. But now they pretty much know.”
His older brother is, of course, Milwaukee All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Kostas was selected by the 76ers at No. 60, the last pick of the second round.