This season there have been a whirlwind of trade rumors surrounding the Toronto Raptors, and no member of the team has been more included in the trade talks than Chris Boucher. The Montreal native is beginning the icy cold season, although he recently found his groove.
With a combination of tradable contracts, lack of production, and his current life, Boucher found himself as the perfect commercial candidate for the Raptors. His unique style of play and ability to protect his massive frame helped make Boucher an attractive piece for any team to add to their roster.
With Raptors fans packing their bags and cutting the film for a 30-second video, Boucher had his back against the wall. But over the past few weeks, Boucher has silenced his critics, proven his value to his team, and given fans a reason to rethink trading the 29-year-old mega man.
With his re-emergence in play alongside his long history with the organization, Boucher certainly doesn’t deserve to be moved, and here’s the case for not trading Slim Duck and hunting for a reunion in 2022.
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher was a beast on the boards.
It’s no secret that raptors’ biggest weakness is their recovery. Currently sitting in the middle of the pack in rebounds per game, the mediocre performance on the boards has continued to incur the Raptors over the past two seasons.
If the Raptors Boucher move, they’ll be giving up one of their best bouncers. His season average of 5.9 rebounds per game does not reflect his current production.
Over his past five games, Boucher averaged 10.2 RPGs, placing him 13th in the NBA in that time period. This gave the Raptors an advantage over the glass at both ends of the playing field.
Taking a gamble and moving a senior Boucher board member to get someone with a similar skill set could be costly if the new acquisition takes time to acclimatize to the Toronto scheme. Transforming him into a high-energy role player off the bench
Toronto Raptors have a thin seat.
With Boucher’s stock at a season high, it’s reasonable to assume that his comeback could be pretty impressive. Even with his current performance, Boucher may not hold enough value to the Raptors for a game-changing piece.
Boucher is approaching the age of 30, and with his thin frame mixed with his current playing style, it’s safe to assume that his game might not suit everyone’s tastes. Having taken this into account, as well as the inconsistency that has appeared in the past, teams may need to be careful with it.
It’s doubtful that any team would be willing and able to give away a small piece to the growing Raptors to tutor for Boucher, while still finding an output from them that comes game time. With the Raptors seat already so thin, Nick Norse will be hard pressed to allocate quality minutes to other players without Boucher in the lineup.
The Raptors are still vying for a playoff point, so they shouldn’t part with their top player off the bench unless they receive a king ransom for an expired contract.
Chris Boucher is in a hot streak.
Boucher has been great for the Raptors in recent games when he faced top-tier competition. Selling so overpriced on a Boucher at this moment would be a mistake, because he’s really starting to get into his niche and fit like a glove into the Nick Nurse system.
Over the past week, Boucher has scored 15.2 points per game as well as 1.6 blocks per game. At this run, Boucher led the Raptors in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, and 3 percentage points. With this combination of scoring, rim protection, and recoil, Boucher’s value to the Raptors has never been higher.
With the birth of a comma at their fingertips, this is not the time to rush and pull the trigger of the trade just to make a move. Boucher has proven his value to this team and will look to continue to do so in the second half of the regular season. If all goes according to plan, it will provide key minutes for the Raptors in the post-season.
While he is an imminent free agent, trying to bring him back for the future may be a wiser option than abandoning him. Boucher has been a marvel of the Toronto development system, occupying a role off the bench. Why change what is not broken?