The Toronto Raptors couldn’t even wait until the regular season started before getting bitten by the injury bug. In addition to Scottie Barnes working his way back to full health thanks to an ankle injury, bench pieces like Otto Porter Jr. and Chris Boucher have missed preseason games thanks to some muscle injuries.
Thanks to a nagging hamstring ailment, Porter has yet to make his Raptors debut. While Boucher was solid in his first preseason action against the Jazz, he has since been hampered with a hammy problem that has prevented him from suiting up lately.
The Raptors are well aware of the fact that their bench was terrible last season. Knowing this, Boucher was retained on a three-year contract and Porter was signed away from the Golden State Warriors to rectify that issue. These two versatile bigs might need to wait a little bit before they are unveiled.
Nurse said that he hopes to have Porter and Boucher back in the lineup by the time the season starts on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but their status remains uncertain. Both Boucher and Porter will be out for the rest of camp due to their injuries.
Toronto Raptors reserves Chris Boucher, Otto Porter Jr. have injuries.
Porter is fresh off averaging 8.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game with some near-elite 3-point shooting for a Warriors team that won a championship last season. On a Raptors team that was piling up the bricks in the preseason, Porter’s value has never been more obvious and needed.
Boucher started slowly last season, but he really kicked things into high gear late in the season. One of the few Raptors who answered the call offensively in the postseason, Boucher was retained as a show of support for his unique skillset and his fit on the team.
If Porter and Boucher are unable to go, expect preseason standout Dalano Banton to make his way into the rotation to fill one of the two vacancies. Nurse may need to decide between rim protector Christian Koloko and veteran sniper Juancho Hernangomez for the final spot in this alignment.
The Raptors’ bench was poor last season, and re-signing Boucher in tandem with the Porter addition was supposed to form the backbone of this revitalized group. They may still perform well, but fans may need to wait for a game or two before their new-look unit is unveiled.