Grade the trade: Mock sends Chris Boucher to the Rockets

Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors
Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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Would the Rockets accept this trade?

The Rockets’ brass seems to love KPJ and it’s easy to understand why: he’s been their reclamation project. They got him for essentially two deflated basketballs and have been able to get production out of him. It would almost be like buying a car for price well under what it’s worth, getting it fixed up to your liking, and using it as your everyday vehicle. That’s great value and a great turnaround story.

If the Rockets wanted Boucher, they would’ve gone after him before adding Jock Landale and Jeff Green in free agency. Not to say that these two aren’t movable (because they were likely acquired for that reason, based on the structure of their deals), but the Rockets could’ve added Boucher before bothering with Green and Landale.

They obviously didn’t have a back-up plan after losing on Lopez and they could’ve made him their fall-back plan, if they wanted to. Without even moving KPJ. So why would they throw him in?

Also, Boucher isn’t a poor man’s version of Lopez, by any stretch of the imagination. Boucher isn’t nearly as good of a shooter, as he shot 32.8 percent from deep last season and has only fared better than 35 percent from deep once in his six-year career.

Lopez fared better than 35 percent from three in each of the last two seasons alone. Furthermore, Lopez is a legitimate defensive anchor. Not only did he finish second in the Defensive Player of the Year race, he’s also made two All-Defensive teams, which Boucher has never done.

Also, Boucher isn’t nearly the offensive threat as Lopez. So if the Rockets were looking for a Lopez clone, Boucher wouldn’t be it.

On top of that, Boucher turns 31 in January, while KPJ (who the Rockets would be giving up in this deal) isn’t even 24 yet.

And let’s get into the salaries. Boucher is set to make $24.4 million over the next two years, which wouldn’t be wise for the Rockets to agree to take on, for someone who isn’t similar to the Brook Lopez archetype that they were looking for.

From the Raptors’ standpoint, this makes perfect sense. They lost Fred VanVleet and could add another creator and facilitator to the fold in KPJ.

Also, their gaudy extension to Jakob Poeltl made it abundantly clear who they’re prioritizing on their front line. They’d do this deal in a heartbeat.

The Rockets, however, would probably not be as interested (although they’d have no issue getting rid of the second-round draft picks).