Earlier in the season, Toronto Raptors power forward Chris Boucher was performing so poorly that he was relegated to the back end of the bench. Just one month ago, Boucher received a DNP-CD after a stretch of games in which he was inefficient on offense and out of position on defense.
Boucher’s fall from grace was very disheartening, as he was one of the few Raptors players who managed to take a huge step forward in Tampa. The native Canadian went from a potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate to someone who looked like they were plucked from the G League.
Boucher appears to have righted his past mistakes with a red-hot month of December. Boucher has taken advantage of the fact so many Raptors have been sidelined due to COVID-19, with his best performance coming in a 28-point, 19-rebound showing against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Boucher, a free agent at the end of this season, has been mentioned as a potential trade piece if Toronto falls out of the playoff hunt and wants to recoup draft capital. Could the Raptors decide to sell high on Boucher and trade him away after his best performances of the season?
Could the Toronto Raptors trade away Chris Boucher?
In October and November, Boucher was averaging 5.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game on 38% shooting from the field and 20% from 3-point range. In December, Boucher has flipped the script, averaged 14.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while making 51% of his shots and 33% of his 3-pointers.
The Raptors aren’t interested in moving Pascal Siakam for the time being, meaning that Boucher will be fighting for minutes alongside a traditional center like Khem Birch and a young big man in Precious Achiuwa that Toronto has invested a ton of time and resources into developing.
The Raptors have also seen 10-day player DJ Wilson put together some very impressive performances. If they want to sign him to a contract for the rest of the season, that could put them into some luxury tax danger. They could evade those penalties by dealing Boucher.
Boucher could help the Raptors improve their depth elsewhere on the roster. This team is still in need of more perimeter shooting off of the bench, and they could decide to upgrade at point guard after some concerning showings from Malachi Flynn this season.
The Raptors were able to mold Boucher from a player who did not look like he belonged into a potential impact forward on both ends. After an early-season slump, it looks like he’s figuring it out.
Unfortunately, the Raptors need to make a move that sets them up for success in the future. Rather than risk losing Boucher for nothing in free agency, trading him for guard help might make sense for Masai Ujiri and this front office.