The Toronto Raptors are hoping that a return to normalcy could help Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and the rest of the squad return to the postseason after their sabbatical in the lottery. With one fell swoop, the Raptors saw their chances of contending take a major hit thanks to Siakam’s shoulder.
Siakam will miss a whole summer of practice thanks to a torn labrum in his left shoulder. If the prognosis is correct, he will be out five months, which means he will not be healthy in time for the start of the season.
Siakam might have taken a step back in some areas next season, but he remains one of the best offensive bigs in the game, and a Raptors team that struggled to field a deep team for large chunks of the season last year didn’t want to hear that their best offensive player in the post will be out for a large portion of the first half.
The Raptors have money to spend in free agency, but it is on the players currently on the roster to find a way to replace Siakam’s production until No. 43 is ready to get back on the court and take games over again.
These 3 Toronto Raptors players need to replace Pascal Siakam.
3. Chris Boucher
If Nick Nurse wants to keep the positional assignments the same, the natural move with regards to replacing Siakam is promoting Boucher to the starting lineup. After getting some Sixth Man of the Year consideration, Boucher has proven that he is one of the game’s most underrated interior scorers and best shot-blockers.
Still, Boucher being able to dominate second-unit players has contributed to his rapid rise. If anyone on this roster can provide a decent facsimile of Siakam’s skillset, it someone like Boucher that can rise up from 3-point range and finish at the rim.
Chris Boucher needs to play like Pascal Siakam for the Raptors.
Siakam has had some rough nights against players like Julius Randle, and Boucher’s struggles against the best if the best might be even more pronounced than the Cameroonian star’s given how wiry his frame is. If Boucher is going to be a solid Siakam replacement, he needs to work on his inside presence.
If he can do that, all while maintaining his ability to be one of the game’s best perimeter-defending big men and his skill at making 3-pointers in transition, he should help the Raptors feel slightly less sting from this incredibly unfortunate development.