3 realistic goals for Raptors big-name free agent signings

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – FEBRUARY 14: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors were usually active in the early days of free agency. Rather than sit back and allow contenders to pluck their rotation players away, Toronto brought back Chris Boucher and Thad Young on multi-year contracts. Otto Porter Jr. was brought in from the Golden State Warriors.

Toronto did an excellent job of retaining old talent and bringing in a new face without causing a significant disruption to what they want to accomplish schematically. Boucher, Young, and Porter can all defend multiple positions on the defensive end and knock down open jumpers.

Assuming that Toronto runs a nine-man rotation for most of the season, this group will make up three-fourths of the bench (alongside Precious Achiuwa). All of them will need to have quality seasons if Toronto is replicate their impressive 48-win pace from last season.

With their eyes set on a successful season in 2022-23, these are three realistic goals that Boucher, Young, and Porter should strive to achieve. Hitting these benchmarks will take this bench out of the “terrible” tier and move them up towards a more respectable place.

3 realistic goals for Toronto Raptors free agents.

Chris Boucher: Shoot close to 40% from 3-point range

Boucher took a small step backward last season after really breaking out in the Tampa bubble. While he proved to be a solid rebounder and interior scorer (58% on two-point shots), the excellence we saw from Boucher on the perimeter evaporated. This did a number on his scoring.

Boucher’s points per game average dipped from 13.6 in 2020-21 to 9.2 in 2021-22. Perhaps going hand in hand with that decline, Boucher went from shooting 38% from 3-point range to just 30%. Boucher needs to become that same feared dynamo he once was for Toronto’s offense to take over.

Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher needs to improve his shooting.

While expecting the stringy Boucher to block two shots per game every season might be a bit too much to ask, Nick Nurse should be pleased with his defensive effort if he showed as an energetic body in the second half. His inability to score consistently is what got him knocked out of Nurse’s good graces early in the season.

Boucher shot 32% from 3-point range in 2018-19 and 2019-20, giving even more evidence to the idea that this season was more of an outlier than a concerning trend. With more shooters around him this year, Boucher should be in for a much more productive time.