The Toronto Raptors reveal their stand amid recent trade rumors about the title-winner…

NBA rumors: Raptors looking to trade title-winner…

The Toronto Raptors are actively seeking to part ways with Chris Boucher, according to information provided by Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Boucher, a key member of the Raptors’ championship-winning team in 2019, has recently found himself out of the team’s regular rotation, prompting speculation about a potential trade that could benefit both the player and the organization.

The decision to trade Boucher is rooted in the strategic vision of the Raptors’ general manager, Masai Ujiri. Ujiri, known for making bold moves, has already orchestrated significant trades this season, sending Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers and OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks. These transactions align with the team’s desire to undergo a rejuvenation process, focusing on acquiring younger talent and gaining financial flexibility.

At 31 years old, Boucher does not align with the Raptors’ future plans, making him expendable in the team’s quest for renewal. Ujiri emphasized the importance of youth, draft picks, and maintaining financial flexibility during interviews regarding the recent trades. Boucher’s age and contract, a three-year, $35 million deal signed in the summer of 2022, present challenges in finding a suitable trade partner willing to take on his hefty salary.

Boucher, who played a crucial role off the bench in the Raptors’ championship run, has seen a decline in his playing time this season. Despite being a consistent contributor in limited minutes, the Raptors’ head coach, Darko Rajaković, opted not to utilize Boucher in recent games against the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder, signaling a lack of future plans for the veteran.

Throughout the current season, Boucher has averaged 6.1 points, four rebounds, and 0.4 blocks in 14 minutes per game. While these numbers highlight his utility, the Raptors’ decision to move on from him indicates a shift in priorities and a willingness to explore other options.

Boucher’s career trajectory has seen him evolve from a peripheral figure during the championship season to a key contributor off the bench in subsequent years. His standout season was in 2020-21, where he averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. Despite his individual success, the team struggled, finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-45.

As the Raptors explore potential destinations for Boucher, the Western Conference appears to be a likely target. The Los Angeles Clippers have expressed interest in acquiring a backup big man, making them a potential landing spot for Boucher. Other teams in need of a backup center, such as the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets, could also be potential trade partners for the Raptors in their quest to part ways with the title-winning veteran.

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