The Toronto Raptors have reportedly locked up their top free agent, Canadian Chris Boucher.
The Raptors have agreed with the six-foot-nine Montreal centre on a three-year deal worth $35.25 million US, which was first reported by ESPN.
The move came just after NBA free agency opened at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Boucher averaged 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game last season, and 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in six playoff games against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Boucher originally signed with the Raptors before the 2018-19 season after playing one game with the Golden State Warriors the previous year. The Canadian spent most of his time with Raptors 905 that first year with Toronto and was named both the G League’s MVP and top defensive player.
Three years later, he re-signed with the Raptors on a two-year deal worth $13.5 million — the richest contract in NBA history by an undrafted Canadian player.
The Raptors are reportedly also bringing back veteran forward Thaddeus Young, agreeing with the 34-year-old on a two-year deal worth $16 million.
Young averaged 6.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26 games for the Raptors.
He was acquired on trade deadline day in February as part of a package that included disgruntled Goran Dragic and the Raptors’ first-round pick, in exchange for San Antonio’s second-round pick and the since-waived Drew Eubanks.
Canada’s Dort gets $87.5 million from OKC
The NBA generated more basketball related income than ever this past season, the total number coming up just short of $9 billion.
Business is good. The first night of free agency underscored how good.
Nikola Jokic and Bradley Beal both quickly agreed to deals that will be worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars by the time they expire, highlighting the moves made Thursday when the NBA’s annual free-agent negotiating window opened.
Jokic agreed to a supermax extension to remain with the Denver Nuggets, the two-time reigning MVP guaranteeing himself at least $264 million over five seasons starting with the 2023-24 campaign. The final number may go up slightly depending on what the league’s salary cap is going into the `23-24 season and if it exceeds current projections.
Beal will make $251 million over the next five seasons after re-signing with Washington, one day after turning down $37 million for this coming season from the team with whom he’s spent the entirety of his 10-year career.
Other extensions expected to be struck soon include supermax deals for Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Phoenix’s Devin Booker. And then there’s a slew of rookie extensions that can start coming Friday, with Memphis’ Ja Morant, Miami’s Tyler Herro and New Orleans’ Zion Williamson among the names on that list.
All those moves, even the biggest-money ones, were overshadowed by a piece of non-free-agent news that came earlier Thursday when Kevin Durant, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, told the Brooklyn Nets that he wanted a trade. And that undoubtedly had some sort of an impact on the decisions some teams were making, or were considering, with the surprise development that one of the world’s elite players is looking for a new place to play.
Jokic and Beal have signed lucrative contracts before. For some, the ones they get this summer will be their first.
Anfernee Simons, who had a breakout season for the injury-plagued Portland Trail Blazers last year — taking advantage of his opportunity, and then some — agreed to a four-year, $100 million contract to remain with that club. And Lu Dort, undrafted three years ago and someone who made about $4 million combined in his three seasons with Oklahoma City, will stay with the Thunder for the next five years on a deal worth nearly $88 million.
P.J. Tucker is reuniting with Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey and — assuming he re-signs, as planned — James Harden as well. Tucker agreed Thursday to a three-year deal with the 76ers for $33 million. Morey, Tucker and Harden were together with the Houston Rockets; Harden declared free agency Wednesday with the intention of coming back to Philadelphia. Tucker won a title with Milwaukee in 2021 and helped Miami to the Eastern Conference finals in 2022.
Bobby Portis (four years, $49 million) is returning to Milwaukee, and the Bucks are adding veteran guard Joe Ingles as well. Ingles is signing a one-year deal, according to his wife, Renae Ingles, who tweeted that “CEO of the house, Renae Ingles, is thrilled for Joe and their family.”