While most of the trade deadline talk surrounding the Toronto Raptors has been based on veteran guard Bruce Brown, the recent handling of veteran power forward Chris Boucher seems to suggest that Toronto is going to kick the veteran out of town as they try to get younger.
Boucher has fallen out of favor with head coach Darko Rajakovic, as his already reduced workload has been neutered to the point where he only gets in the game after the outcome has already been decided. Look no further than his cameo in Toronto's blowout defeat against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Raptors could use a more traditional young center if they want to still compete for wins this year, but more draft picks will never be something Masai Ujiri turns down. Whatever the price ends up being, it seems unlikely that Boucher, the last member of the 2019 title-winning team, will be in Toronto much longer.
According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, the Raptors seem set on finding Boucher a trade destination. Ujiri promised more trades after the Pascal Siakam deal, and offloading Boucher to help restock the draft pick cupboards could be a prudent way to approach the deadline.
The Toronto Raptors seem ready to trade Chris Boucher.
Boucher is averaging 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this season, both of which are down from his last two seasons under Nick Nurse. However, Boucher's efficiency percentages (48.5% from the field, 33% from 3-point range) are almost the same as his 2022-23 numbers.
Boucher still has one year left on his deal at just under $11 million in salary. While he did just turn 31 a few weeks ago, and that fact might prevent the Raptors from getting a significant haul for him in any sort of trade, the Raptors might be able to get a few bits and pieces back for him if push comes to shove.
Contenders out there could always use more interior energy and rebounding. The Boston Celtics have been interested in him in the past, and rumors claim the Dallas Mavericks are trying to trade for a player that exactly matches Boucher's archetype. Holding him hostage would be a rough way for his Raptors career to end.
23 people have played for the Raptors this year, and that number is likely to grow once the trade deadline comes and goes. Boucher's talents are being wasted on the bench, and that need to get something back in a trade might be all it takes.