Grading Raptors’ free agent signings early in 2022-23 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images /
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The Toronto Raptors wasted no time in filling some of their roster holes in free agency. Chris Boucher and Thad Young were brought back on multi-year contracts, while Otto Porter Jr. and Juancho Hernangomez were lured away from Golden State and Utah, respectively, soon after that.

The Raptors have had some success with all of their new additions. While Porter has been inactive for large chunks of the season, that hasn’t stopped Toronto from going 5-3 and winning four of their last five games. The team’s pesky defense and suddenly explosive offense are working in tandem together.

The Raptors need to make sure that their new additions and returning veterans gel with what Nick Nurse is trying to implement this season. Scoring 280 points in two games without Fred VanVleet shows that at least one of those vets has come to play early in this season.

Let’s take a look at the first eight games of the season and examine how some of the new additions have looked. While Porter is not going to get a detailed write-up due to all the time he has missed, the other three have shown enough to warrant some analysis.

Grading 3 Toronto Raptors free agent signings.

Chris Boucher

The Raptors have constructed their roster with the expectation that Boucher and Precious Achiuwa would be the first two guys off the bench and impact contributors on both ends. While he missed some time with an injury, the Boucher returns have generally been well received.

Boucher, who is on a three-year deal, has averaged 11.2 points per game while shooting an insane 64% from the floor and 56% from 3-point range. His fantastic game against the Spurs illustrated that he is the best bench player on the team, making him one of the most important players to Toronto’s long-term success.

Chris Boucher has played well for the Toronto Raptors.

Boucher struggled early last season, but it appears as though whatever changes he made in the second half of the season helped him get back to the form he showcased in the Tampa bubble. A key perimeter defender and rebounder, Toronto is asking Boucher to fill multiple vital roles.

Boucher has proven he can be a traditional power forward, perimeter stopper, and off-ball catch-and-shoot threat in just the last few games. Even though he is a bit old for someone who just got his first big free agent contract, he’s starting to enter his prime this season.

Grade: A