Raptors re-sign Thad Young and Chris Boucher in early hours of free agency

Toronto gets its guys.

Well, the Toronto Raptors really had two main goals going into free agency. And they accomplished them basically as soon as the clock began on the whole ordeal.

Both deals are honestly lower than I expected, and the Raptors keep their targets in house for extremely reasonable amounts of money. For Boucher especially, this is still the largest contract he’s signed to date and a well-deserved fortune.

Boucher started the year in a monstrous funk, but he broke out of it to such an extent that he had the best season of his career by a huge margin. He had an exceptionally difficult role — basically, you never get to touch the ball. So he thrived but cutting off the ball and attacking the offensive glass with abandon. He developed exceptional chemistry with Scottie Barnes and Young, both of whom will always find the cutter. Defensively, Boucher was fantastic in Toronto’s weirdo rim-protection-by-committee philosophy, and he cut down on his fouling from past years. He rarely made system errors. He ended the year with Toronto’s third-best on/off rating per 100 possessions behind only the stars, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. It was truly a perfect season for Boucher once he broke out of his slump.

The Raptors traded for Young at the deadline — he found a team already built in his image. On both ends of the floor he somehow offered something the team needed despite ostensibly playing the same position as everyone else. He was switchable with quick hands and rebounded well defensively, and on the offensive end he slung passes to cutters and tossed in his weirdo hooks with ease. Super great fit. He ended with Toronto’s best on/off defensive rating per 100 possessions.

Both were crucial components of the Raptors, and had they left the team, Toronto would have had little recourse to replace them. This is a wonderful — if quiet and realistic — start to free agency.

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