On the latest episode of Hustle Play, Raptors forward Chris Boucher discusses his approach to the trade deadline and how some players can be mistaken in thinking a new team will fix everything. Catch the full episode on our YouTube or the podcast feed on Wednesday.
MIKE ROACH: That is true. Now it is that time of year. It's trade deadline season now.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah.
MIKE ROACH: You must think about that. You have to because--
CHRIS BOUCHER: No.
MIKE ROACH: Really?
CHRIS BOUCHER: No.
MIKE ROACH: I always think about it because there are so many-- when I think about you as a player and the way you play, to me, I always see teams saying we could use a Chris Boucher, so it always stays on my head from that perspective because I could see so many teams that would want to acquire you, you know what I mean?
CHRIS BOUCHER: You know, I'm not playing like Chris Boucher right now so that's what I'm focusing on, you know? Like If I'm over there thinking about I'm not playing well and maybe another team is going to want me for what I do, it's not helping me. Like, it's just going to put more stress into me, and right now I'm not playing well anyway, so I can't be sitting here thinking about if I'm going to get traded. I got to think about how I'm going to get better and how I'm going to help this team win or help myself.
And if they decide to trade me, then I'm still going to have to be ready for myself. So this is something that, like I said, I've tried to get away from me. Like I was saying, I hear it from everywhere. Trade him, trade, him, trade him. Listen, you guys could trade or wherever you guys want. Until it happens, I'm focusing on what I have to do and I'm going to show up to games and try to win games and play hard and do what I usually do and what people know about me.
MIKE ROACH: Happens every year.
CHRIS BOUCHER: Yeah, for sure.
MIKE ROACH: Happens every year. But haven't you--
CHRIS BOUCHER: They wanted to trade me in Cleveland.
MIKE ROACH: What was that?
CHRIS BOUCHER: They wanted to trade me when I was in Cleveland-- when I played Cleveland last year.
MIKE ROACH: Oh, I remember that.
CHRIS BOUCHER: See?
MIKE ROACH: I remember that. Have you ever spoken to anybody who's really harped on being traded and playing differently because of a trade deadline coming up, whether-- I mean, doesn't necessarily have to be somebody on your team, but just people around the league?
CHRIS BOUCHER: No, I've heard a lot of players were saying, like, you know, when I get traded, I can't wait to get traded so I can go and kill on another team, or I know what I could do and they're not using me so I'm going to go somewhere else. And guess what? It's not always greener on the other side. That's one thing everybody told me and I've heard that, and I even sometimes ask myself, I'm like, what would I be with on another team?
And I'm like, no, man. Don't even ask yourself that because I'm good where I'm at right now and I've done a lot here. And guess what? If I go on another team and it's the same issue then do I really want to be somewhere else than be in Toronto dealing with the same issue? And that's a lot of people that don't know that. They play for Chicago, for example, and they're like, oh, well I'd rather play for Boston, and they go to Boston and it's the same issue or they play less minute or they on the way to get--
MIKE ROACH: Or it's worse.
CHRIS BOUCHER: --waived. So you just got to watch what you--
MIKE ROACH: Have you heard about horror stories like that?
CHRIS BOUCHER: --you gotta watch. I mean, no. I mean, you see it all around the league, though. I've seen guys that were doing really good on a team and then they had a moment where they just didn't play because the coach or whatever decided that they wanted to go a different way for only four or five games. And they couldn't hold it, decided that they wanted to get trade or whatever, go to another team, and now they don't play anymore and now they're out of the league. So you just got to watch out what you say, honestly. Like, a couple of games-- and that's what Eve teach me the most. You just got to watch out what you're saying.
Like, you just-- you know, it's a long season, you know? You miss four or five games, you're not playing four or five games, and you want to go apeshit and say you want to go somewhere else. All right, cool. Well, guess what? Then after that you go somewhere else, now you got to do everything all over again and prove yourself all over again. And if they don't have time for that, then you just wasted a lot of time and a lot of progress that you made in your career for no reason.