Raptors 905 centre Chris Boucher is using his extremely long arms to haul in as many G-League awards as possible. The Montreal-raised Boucher was named the 2018-19 league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year today:
Announcing the 2018-19 #NBAGLeague MVP & Defensive Player of the Year... @ChrisBoucher! #ChangeTheGame— NBA G League (@nbagleague) April 1, 2019
27.2 PPG | 11.4 RPG | 4.1 BPG this season@OregonMBB ↗️ @Raptors ➡️ @Raptors905 pic.twitter.com/VGDmo5PIME
Boucher appeared in 28 games for the 905 this season, averaging 27.2 points on 51% shooting, along with 11.4 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game. He helped the 905 make the playoffs for the third straight year.
I admit to not having seen a single 905 game this year, which is shameful on my part. So I’m judging Boucher by his stats only, which one should never do, but... damn, look at those numbers! That’s third in the league in scoring, seventh in rebounding and first in blocks. He’s also second in defensive rating, eight in defensive win shares, and third in overall win shares. It would seem the awards are deserving!
I have, of course, watched Boucher play with the Raptors, where he’s averaging 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in about five garbage time minutes a night. He’s become a fan-favourite during those appearances, with his propensity to jack three-pointers as soon as the opportunity presents along with his never-give-up-on-a-play attitude on the defensive end (and those long arms allow him more than a few blocks after he’s been beaten) always getting a rise out of the crowd. I’m sure his Montreal background doesn’t hurt either!
Whether or not Boucher has a legit NBA future remains to be seen; he has the right attitude, and he’s got the skillset of a modern big for sure. But he hasn’t shown strong situational awareness at he NBA level yet, and he most definitely needs to put on a few pounds in order to hang with NBA opponents. Can he get there? I sure hope so!
While we’re here, how about a shout-out to the job the 905 have done as a franchise? In four seasons they have had:
- Three playoff appearances
- Two Finals appearances
- One Championship (Finals MVP: Pascal Siakam)
- Two MVPs (Lorenzo Brown; Boucher)
- Two DPOYs (Edy Tavares; Boucher)
- One Coach of the Year (Jerry Stackhouse)
- One Most Improved Player (Axel Toupane)
That’s a heck of a run!
Boucher, who signed with the Raptors as a free agent this summer, soon earned a two-way contract and eventually a standard NBA contract with the big club. He’s eligible to play in the playoffs, though, without an injury or a blowout situation, that does seem unlikely.