The Toronto Raptors will need to look elsewhere in order to sign some of the big-name free agents, but Masai Ujiri can’t move forward with those grand plans until he figures out what to do with Chris Boucher and Thad Young. Both rotation members are going to be free agents in the summer.
While Boucher is a homegrown product who has been one of Toronto’s best bench players over the last few seasons, Young gave the reserves the kick in the rear they needed after arriving in the middle of the season. Young was the veteran leader that a young team needed to guide them in the postseason.
The Raptors will likely try to retain both of these players, but that remains unlikely given the team’s financial situation and the need to improve at other positions. Toronto probably only has room for one of these power forwards, and they both make compelling cases for retention.
The Raptors will need to pick one of these players and make them a vital member of the bench in 2022-23. Ujiri might be leaning towards keeping Boucher and allowing the veteran Young to look elsewhere for work. Which player makes more sense for Toronto?
Pros and Cons of Toronto Raptors keeping Chris Boucher over Thad Young.
Boucher is a younger player that might have a higher offensive ceiling in the short term. Boucher averaged 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last year on 46% shooting and 29% from 3-point range, though he started to turn on the jets with a sensational second-half.
While he doesn’t have Young’s ball-handling or passing ability, he does possess a nice 3-point shot when he gets hot and excellent shot-blocking skills despite his wiry frame. Nick Nurse molded him from a raw mound of clay into a switchable defender perfect for his frontcourt.
Chris Boucher might score more for the Toronto Raptors.
Boucher is not exactly a spring chicken at 29 years old, but Toronto could feel more comfortable giving him a long-term contract than Young. One of the few holdovers from the championship team of 2019, Boucher has oodles of playoff experiences as one of Nurse’s trusted reserves.
Boucher looked unplayable at times early in the year, but that second half showed that he could be one of the first guys off of the bench for a team that has title aspirations. Letting the younger player go and giving the older one a multi-year contract could be a divisive issue.