The Toronto Raptors reportedly are likely to trade big man Chris Boucher ahead of this season’s trade deadline.
Boucher is Toronto’s final remaining player from its championship team in the 2018-19 season.
Boucher is the final player remaining from Toronto’s 2019 championship roster. pic.twitter.com/R1brCRMN9V
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) January 21, 2024
The Raptors are entering a new era, as they already moved on from small forward O.G. Anunoby and power forward Pascal Siakam this season.
Toronto flipped Anunoby to the New York Knicks – along with guard Malachi Flynn and big man Precious Achiuwa – in exchange for wing RJ Barrett, guard Immanuel Quickley and a second-round pick.
More recently, the team traded away Siakam, a former All-Star, to the Indiana Pacers as part of a deal that brought back players and first-round draft picks. The Raptors seem to be stocking up young talent (Quickley and Barrett) as well as draft capital to build around former Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.
Boucher, who is under contract through the 2024-25 season, is playing just 14.2 minutes per game for Toronto this season, his lowest minutes per game since the 2019-20 campaign.
The lanky big man is averaging 6.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from 3-point range this season. Toronto may be able to flip him to a contender that could use help down low at the deadline.
The Raptors are just 16-27 this season and have lost seven of their last 10 games. They currently hold the No. 12 spot in the Eastern Conference, meaning they’d miss the playoffs and play-in tournament if the season were to end today.
It would make sense for Toronto to get more pieces that fit around Barnes – or more draft picks – in exchange for Boucher at the deadline. It’s also possible that the big man has more value this season since a team trading for him would have him under contract for the 2024-25 season as well.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Raptors approach Boucher and other players on their roster as they look to the future.