Why Chris Boucher could be Raptors’ most tradable asset in 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 2: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 2: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors need to give their roster quite the system shock in the next few weeks, as they have to pivot away from their “Vision 6-9” identity and set themselves up for success in the modern NBA. Such a move could lead to Chris Boucher getting tossed to the wayside.

Boucher started the season off as well as one could have hoped, making himself look like one of the most effective free agent signings any team made. Things have largely taken a downward turn, as his recent improved play likely hasn’t done much to quell the thoughts of him potentially being flipped.

Boucher is averaging 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season, having often combined with the recently reinvigorated Precious Achiuwa to make their bench much more respectable in a stretch where Toronto has won four out of five. That doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily stick around, however.

The Raptors need to get more shooting and size on this roster, and they should be able to do that as both sellers and buyers. No matter what mindset they choose to adopt, Boucher might be one of the players they prioritize trying to move away from in the near future.

The Toronto Raptors might trade Chris Boucher.

The emergence of Achiuwa, the continued development of Christian Koloko, and the need to get a few more quality shooters on the bench in the next few months will likely make it tougher for Boucher to have a featured role. With an eight-figure salary on the books, Toronto might be better off using that cap space on a guard rather than a fourth power forward.

Boucher may have seen his value decline slightly after getting some Sixth Man of the Year consideration in the Tampa bubble, but a contender can still find some use for him. His effort on defense has been admirable lately, and he remains one of the game’s best offensive rebounders at his size.

The Raptors could get something of value if they decide to part ways with Boucher. He’s still just 30 years old, so he could provide a contender out there with the bench jolt they currently lack. Toronto could deal from a position of strength, plugging one of its biggest holes while they are at it.

Boucher is a testament to the Raptors’ expert player development system, but Toronto needs to move on as their need to retool becomes critical. Boucher could be a valuable lynchpin that sweetens many potential trades.

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