While the Toronto Raptors might find themselves struggling to begin this season opening at 5-9, there has been a major bright spot for the team thus far. Chris Boucher (player profile) has begun his 4th season playing the best basketball of his career and has found an important role on the team.
While he hasn’t started any games, he’s nearly doubled his minutes per game compared to last year, and has found himself in a position that he’s never been in before professionally, and he’s making the most of it with his play on both ends of the court.
Fantasy Basketball Impact
In ESPN fantasy basketball drafts, his average draft position was 110 overall, which put him 26th among centers. Through 13 games, he’s now rated as the 6th best center, sitting next to names like Djokic and Embiid. As a player that was quite overlooked in fantasy basketball leagues before the year began, it’s safe to say he’s been one of the gems of the season so far.
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The fourth year player is averaging 16.1 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game this season, all coming off the bench and in only 24 minutes. This continues a trend he’s had of improving every season and growing his role, but this is the biggest leap he’s made in becoming a full rotation player.
Maybe the biggest surprise of all the numbers Chris Boucher has been putting up is his 3 point percentage. As it stands now, he’s shooting a scorching 46.9% from deep, far outpacing the 32% average he’s had the previous 3 years. That mark is also the best on the team, which is notable for a power forward/center. Plus, for the roto fantasy players out there, it’s pretty rare to find somebody who is making threes like that while also giving you 2.5 blocks per game.
What bettors should be looking at
For those interested in making a wager on something like the ATS sports betting app, he’s a contender for both the 6th Man of the Year and the Most Improved Player award. According to Odds Shark, he’s +1400 for the 6th Man, and +2000 on the Most Improved. While those odds might seem somewhat long, he’s actually a top 6 contender in each category, and there are plenty of games left for him to prove himself if you’re wanting to bet on Boucher.
He also finds himself in a similar position as teammate Pascal Siakam, who in the 2018-19 season found himself winning the Most Improved Player and was in contention all season for the 6th Man. Certainly Siakam will be somebody to be able to help the young player navigate the increased expectations.
He is making a paltry $6.5 million this season and $7 million the next. For a player producing at his level, the Raptors are lucky to have such a valuable contract. For comparison, the people ahead of him in the odds for 6th Man of the Year are all making at least $10 million per year, with some making nearly $20 million. If his play continues on this way, he’ll be reaping the rewards the next time he’s up for a new deal.
There is plenty left in this season, but Chris Boucher has clearly shown that he is a major part of the Toronto Raptors and is here to stay. After a slow start, Toronto will certainly need all the production that he can give.