Raptors Offseason meltdown
The Raptors went into the offseason with one goal two-time Nba MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and they believed that they had a chance to lure him away from Milwaukee the team that developed him. So much so that they allowed Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol to walk as they planned to keep maximum cap flexibility for the summer.
When Giannis decided to sign a five-year, 228 million dollars,super-max deal to return to the Milwaukee Bucks leaving no doubt that he will not be a member of the Toronto Raptors’ organization anytime soon.
And now they pivoted to Alex Len and Aron Baynes. Entering the season with a big man rotation of Baynes, Len, Siakam, and Chris Boucher. It wouldn’t take a genius to know things were going to drastically change in Toronto as it pertains to their status as an elite team in the eastern conference.
The emergence of Chris Boucher
Going into the season the raptors organization believed even with the loss of two of their most impactful defenders from the rotation Alex Len and Aron Baynes along with internal improvement throughout the roster would be enough to remain competitive.
That experiment failed as the raptors quickly fell to a 1-6 record with their only win being against the incompetent New York knicks & lead tank commander Elfrid Payton. From that point, Boucher was thrust into the starting lineup A raw unproven talent to spark some energy into a raptors defense that was ranked 2nd 2019-2020 season and has fallen to 11th allowing opponents on average to score over 109.8ppg.
And so far Boucher has delivered averaging 14.1ppg, 6.4rpg, and 2.2 blocks per game which are 4th in the league. Boucher has shown flashes that he is capable of being a floor-spacing rim running and protecting big man. A welcomed change from Aron Baynes who is shooting a painful 39.1% from the field averaging 5.1ppg & 4.9rpg while showing no signs of life on the defensive side of the ball.
Since Boucher has been given a bigger role the Raptors have maintained a 6-5 record and are currently 7-11 on the season good for 11th in the eastern conference. A big disappointment from the team that was able to almost reach the conference finals one season ago battling the Boston Celtics in the eastern conference semi-finals down to the wire in a game 7.
Even as Chris Boucher makes a name for himself swatting shots it’s clear that he is not the answer if the raptors want to return to being a winning basketball organization. At already 28 years old and still perceived as a project the raptors do not have time to wait for Boucher to pan out if they want to make good use out of the remaining years of Kyle Lowry being a productive player.