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It's always been the same story with Chris Boucher: consistency, consistency, consistency.

That's all the Toronto Raptors have wanted from the 6-foot-9 Canadian forward. Sure, the peaks are nice, when he's pick-and-popping, nailing three-pointers, and making high-energy plays on both ends of the court. But far too often this year and, frankly, through his career it's his mistakes that have killed Toronto.

This season, things have gone off the rails at the worst possible time for both Boucher and the Raptors. He's gone from a player expected to be a key contributor for Toronto this year as he heads into free agency this summer to out of the rotation, at least on Sunday night.

"I just wanted to see if we could get some good, hard play out of other guys and take a look at them," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said following Boucher's absence from the lineup.

Nurse's message was clear: time is running out for Boucher. He's had maybe two or three positively impactful games this season and with Yuta Watanabe returning to health, the Raptors are just about ready to move on from Boucher.

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“He’s got to handle it like a pro," Nurse said. "When he gets his chance he has to be a little more consistent. I mean he’s not the only one that needs to come off the bench and play more consistently. That doesn’t mean scoring or anything. That’s just engaged and playing hard and rebounding and blocking shots and things he should be able to bring most nights."

Coming into the year, Boucher seemed like an obvious trade candidate when the trade deadline rolled around, especially if the Raptors didn't see themselves as legitimate playoff threats. He'd come off an impressive 2020-21 campaign and at 28 years old with his free agency approaching he didn't seem to fit with Toronto's long-term vision.

Now, as he falls further and further down Toronto's bench, he's put himself in a precarious situation. His next chance could be his last.

Further Reading

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