We had questions about the Toronto Raptors’ frontcourt and in short order on Sunday evening those concerns were answered. First, having already lost Serge Ibaka, Toronto said goodbye to Marc Gasol, then welcomed Aron Baynes, and finally, as reported by ESPN: they re-signed Chris Boucher to a two-year, $13.5 million contract.
Here are the pertinent details:
Chris Boucher has agreed to a two-year, $13.5M deal to stay with the Toronto Raptors, his agent Sam Permut of @RocNationSports tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 23, 2020
What hasn’t been mentioned as yet is whether or not that second year will be a team option. This has been the theme on many “two-year” contracts being announced over the past few days. Given every team’s desire to keep their cap sheet as clean as possible come the 2021 off-season, most two-year deals are being granted with that sort of flexibility: a guaranteed first year and an optional second. For now, let’s just assume that it’s a team option for Toronto — we’ll update as necessary.
UPDATE: It’s a non-guaranteed second year.
The 2020-21 season will be Boucher’s fourth in the NBA. He turns 28 in January, so while there’s room for improvement, it remains to be seen how much he can actually still grow as a player. What he’s shown over the past two seasons is this: Boucher can absolutely wreck the G League, having won both the league’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Awards for the 2018-19 season; and he has utility as a rim-running, shot-blocking, three-point launching power forward. At 6’9” and 200 pounds, Boucher is an elastic man who can cover a lot of ground in a hurry — but he’s not known for his ability to hold onto much space on the court. Last season’s line for Boucher in 13.2 minutes per game across 62 appearances: 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, and a shooting splits of .46/.32/.78 from the field, three, and free throw line, respectively.
If nothing else, Boucher offers a nice short term option in the frontcourt for the Raptors. He was electrifying at times off the bench for the team last season, and it stands to reason he’ll be the same again this year. Pairing him with Baynes, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and even Dewan Hernandez will be something to see. And we also know Boucher’s confidence is high and we’ll stay that way.
In the NBA, where everything is constantly up and down, that’s not nothing.