The barren back third of the Raptors’ roster is finally starting to take shape. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Toronto has converted Chris Boucher’s two-way deal into a multi-year NBA contract. With the move, the Raptors now have 11 roster spots filled, and are technically legal under the CBA once again.
Boucher’s 45 allotted NBA days on his two-way deal were close to used up thanks to the prolonged absence of Jonas Valanciunas. With the Raptors navigating a tricky balance between trimming tax payments, having a shortened roster, and needing to get back to the league-mandated 14 players within the next two weeks, Boucher always seemed like a prime candidate to cash in on an NBA deal. The exact details of Boucher’s new contract are not yet clear.
Signing Boucher doesn’t quite clear the way for Toronto to sign the two rumoured 10-day deals they were supposed to have in the works. If 10-days for Malcolm Miller and Ben McLemore are still in the Raptors’ plans, they won’t be able sign them until the roster has 12 players on full-season NBA deals. (Thanks to noted smart person Blake Murphy for the invaluable CBA-sleuthing he did over at The Athletic).
The deal probably kills any chance of Boucher claiming the G-League MVP award that is rightfully his. His numbers with the 905 have been nuts; 27.7 points, 11.2 boards, 1.1 assists and 4.2 blocks (!!!) over 23 games suggest a player entirely too good for that level. Between it being 100 percent earned, and his passport being local, it’s a damn cool story that he’s now a full-fledged part of the Raptors.
With the big club this season, Boucher has mostly occupied the role of human victory cigar / garbage time checker of heat. He’s gotten into 16 games, in which he’s averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds on 45.7 / 39.1 / 84.6 shooting. Per-36 that works out to 25.1 and 11.3 to go along with 6.5 blocks on 18.6 field goal attempts. His Basketball Reference page is impossibly cool.
Now, we wait to see if the newfound job security emboldens him to chuck even more. Here’s hoping it does.