All through their history, the Toronto Raptors haven’t been much of a title contender, rather than one of the weakest teams in the Eastern Conference prior to the surge they’ve had over the last 5 years or so.
The Raptors have finally become title contenders this season and feature one of the loudest home crowds in the whole NBA, but they haven’t always been this kind of dominant team with Championship aspirations.
And part of that losing culture is due to how poorly they’ve fared when it comes to scouting, as they’ve made some terrible mistakes throughout their history via Draft despite always being in good position in the lottery following mediocre campaigns.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 mistakes the Toronto Raptors have made in their history, so if you’re a Raptors fan, you may want to grab a drink or something.
5. Marcus Camby (2nd pick) – 1996 NBA Draft
Don’t get me wrong, Marcus Camby was a hell of a player, especially in the defensive end of the hardwood. He led the league in blocks in 4 different seasons, made 4 All-Defensive squads and even won the Defensive Player of the Year award, but “The Camby Man” only spent 2 full seasons at Canada despite being drafted 2nd overall by the Raptors.
And what makes this mistake even bigger is the fact that the 1996 NBA Draft is one of the most stacked Drafts in NBA history, and the Raptors could’ve landed a franchise-changing kind of baller like Ray Allen, Peja Stojakovic, Steve Nash. Oh, Kobe Bryant was also available, you may have heard of him.
4. Rafael Araujo (8th pick) – 2004 NBA Draft
Back then in 2004, the Raptors went with Rafael Araujo as the 8th overall pick, a so-called defensive standout big man out of Brazil that was only able to be in the league for three seasons, two of them with Toronto. Over his brief NBA tenure, the Brazilian averaged just 2.8 boards and 2.8 points on 40% shooting.
Also, this Draft was loaded with tons of great role players that are still balling up to this day, players of the likes of JR Smith, Jameer Nelson or Tony Allen, as well as Kevin Martin or Sasha Vujacic, with Al Jefferson and Andre Iguodala being the best couple of players of this class drafted after Araujo.
3. Jonathan Bender (5th pick) – 1999 NBA Draft
The Toronto Raptors drafted Jonathan Bender with the 5th overall pick back then in 1999, just to immediately deal him to the Indiana Pacers in return for Antonio Davis. Gladly for them, they didn’t miss Bender much, as the combo forward was merely a rotation player for 8 seasons, posting averages of 5.5 points and under 3 boards a game, shooting 41.7% from the hardwood.
Antonio Davis wasn’t much better for the Raptors either, averaging 12.9 points and just over 9 boards throughout a 6 season span, and Toronto should’ve just drafted Wally Szczerbiak, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Andre Miller, Andrei Kirilenko or Ron Artest instead.
2. Terrence Ross (8th pick) – 2012 NBA Draft
Terrence Ross looked like a great offensive prospect when they got them with the 8th overall pick in 2012, but his career took a major downfall after struggling to connect from distance and scoring most of his buckets with drives, something that created a major spacing problem considering he had to share touches with DeMar DeRozan.
After being demoted to a substitute role, Ross’ career just never took off, and he’s not even a part of the team anymore. Also, Toronto could’ve done a lot better at 8th that year, passing on players like Evan Fournier, Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, Will Barton, Khris Middleton or Andre Drummond.
1. Andrea Bargnani (1st pick) – 2006 NBA Draft
The Toronto Raptors were entitled to the 1st overall pick back in 2006, and they wasted drastically by taking Andrea Bargnani a shooting big man out of Italy that was supposed to be something like the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki, but merely averaged 14.3 points and under 5 boards on 43% shooting over a 10 season span, very bad numbers for a 1st overall pick.
Also, that Draft class was pretty much stacked with talent, and the Raptors could’ve just drafted Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, or even LaMarcus Aldridge instead of an injury prone slow and unathletic center.