New Orleans Pelicans: Trading for Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors
Trading Jaxson Hayes for Chris Boucher makes no sense for a couple of reasons. First off, Hayes isn’t much worse than Boucher and is seven years younger, so the Pelicans would be giving up on a guy who has a higher ceiling and isn’t much worse now.
While Boucher’s 13.6 points per game nearly doubled Hayes’ 7.5, he only grabbed 2.4 more rebounds per game and was playing eight more minutes than Hayes.
Boucher is certainly the better shot blocker at this point in their respective careers, but Hayes was coming on in that area late in the season and eventually could be a very good shot blocker himself.
Hayes is bigger, more athletic and will eventually be a plus shot blocker in the NBA.
Hayes also looked pretty good shooting 3-point shots himself and may end up being a guy who hits a couple per game, just like Boucher.
The other reason is contractual. Hayes is locked up for another two years at a very reasonable rate while Boucher’s contract is up after next season and he will almost certainly be looking for a raise.
It’s possible Hayes will be putting up similar numbers by the end of next season, so the Pelicans would essentially be renting a guy for a year who might not even be better than the guy they are shipping out.
I am not a fan who is drunk on the idea of “potential” as eventually players have to prove they can do it in games and not just in theory, but Boucher is not a big enough get to sell out on Hayes’ potential this early.
I’d be happy to move Hayes as part of package for a better player, but Boucher is only marginally better, makes more money, is older, and just doesn’t move the needle enough to justify trading Jaxson Hayes.