2. Khem Birch vs. Precious Achiuwa vs. Chris Boucher
Birch is one of the team’s five projected starters, as he parlayed an impressive stint with the Raptors following an Orlando buyout into a three-year contract, but he has some competition for his spot. Both Achiuwa and Boucher will get minutes this season, though it remains unclear how they will work with Birch.
While Birch is more of a traditional low-post center, Boucher’s long, ropy frame has enabled him to play as a traditional power forward, a smaller center (with mixed results), and an oversized small forward. Achiuwa will likely play as a smaller center, though he is just scratching the surface of what he can be at this level.
Precious Achiuwa could change the Toronto Raptors’ frontcourt.
On one hand, Birch’s contract and ability to provide rebounding inside is why he will likely start, but Achiuwa and Boucher are both viewed as assets Toronto will lean on for years to come, and juggling all of that playing time will be a challenge that Nurse has to confront this year.
Boucher was one of the best sixth men in the game last year, Birch finally gave the Raptors a true starting center, and Achiuwa’s athletic ability makes him one of the more promising young big men in the East.
On one hand, it’s a good problem to have this many talented bigs, but deciding how minutes are allotted might be challenging.