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Atlanta Hawks: 5 trade options to replace John Collins

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks: trade option at PF No. 5: Chris Boucher has his warts but could offer much of what Collins does at a fraction of the price

On a team that won a championship with Kawhi Leonard two seasons ago, and still boasts the likes of Fred Vanvleet and Pascal Siakam, the work of a player like Chris Boucher can go unnoticed. But the 6-foot-9 former Oregon Duck is among the league’s best when it comes to re-directing opponent’s shots.

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Per 36 numbers aren’t always reliable as rate stats and efficiency don’t always translate. But they can still be useful when trying to project a player into a larger role.

And they paint a pretty solid picture of the Raptors big man over the last three seasons.

Boucher is 10th in blocks per 36 minutes in that span. He ranks among names like two-time block champ Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, and even Collins.

He also checks in ahead of perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Rudy Gobert (who won it for the third time this season) and Anthony Davis. Not too shabby for a player most casual fans may have never heard of. But that might ultimately be what makes him the perfect, low-cost solution in the event of a Collins departure.

In just over 24 minutes per game, Boucher displayed marked improvement for the third straight season, showing he can still get better despite being 28 already.

The knocks are surprisingly similar to those with Collins. His defenive rebounding, or lack thereof, led his head coach to call him out for his effort. Given his slight build — he’s listed at just 200 pounds — that may never improve how most would like.

A strong interior defender behind him, like Capela, would free him to clean up the play.

Atlanta Hawks Pass or pursue John Collins in free agency. dark. Next

Boucher also technically won a ring as a rookie with the Golden State Warriors back in 2018. And, although he appeared in just one game that year, don’t underestimate the experience of being around two successful runs to the NBA Finals; something this team is likely deadset on doing themselves next season.