For the first time in over nine seasons, the Toronto Raptors will be entering the season without Kyle Lowry, signaling a whole new era for Canadian basketball. After the team’s nightmare of a season that was riddled with COVID-19 issues, chemistry problems, and ultimately never playing a game at home, the Raptors never stood a chance last season.
However, is it fair to jump the gun and make decisions based on last season considering everything the Raptors dealt with? It sounds like a firm no from the Toronto front office after shutting down many trade rumors in the offseason, particularly around Pascal Siakam.
With the Raptors emphasizing their belief in the core led by Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby, it looks like the upcoming season will at the very least be an evaluation period to see how the team performs back in Toronto.
If the Raptors return back to their winning ways, then it’s nothing but smiles for the team up north.
However, if there isn’t any substantial improvement made this season, these 3 Toronto Raptors could be available on the trade market as Masai Ujiri looks to recoup assets as part of a retooling process.
3 Toronto Raptors players who may be traded this season.
3. Chris Boucher
Chris Boucher is yet another player that the Raptors development staff built from the ground up. Prior to last season, Boucher showed flashes that had fans clamoring to get him more minutes. Unfortunately, the presence of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol made this difficult.
Following the departure of both Ibaka and Gasol, Toronto quickly locked up Boucher to a two-year, $13.5 million dollar deal with the hopes that he could take a bulk of those minutes. Boucher made that contract look dirt cheap, scoring 13.6 points per game and achieved career highs in almost all other categories.
The Toronto Raptors could look to sell high on Chris Boucher.
Entering the final year on his contract, Boucher could look to cash in big next summer. The problem is that Toronto might not want to pay Boucher the contract he may be seeking.
Considering the presence of Siakam and Scottie Barnes at the power forward spot, Boucher likely won’t find a starting role in Toronto. With last year being his only year of showing true high-end production, the Raptors might want to cash in on his value while it’s still high.
With the league now being heavily dependent on the 3-ball, a rim-protecting stretch big such as Boucher would certainly have teams interested if available. With the recent acquisitions to the frontcourt, and Boucher’s free agency approaching, it’s not a sure thing he returns.