A trip down draft memory lane.

2003 Draft
Raptors Pick: Chris Bosh (4), Remon Van de Hare (52)
Controversy: Very little.
Summary: The top three picks were set in stone from the outset and there was little debate at the time that James, Milicic (LOL) and Anthony would go top three. The fourth pick was between Bosh and Wade, and given the Raptors need at the time, they drafted thinking of position.  As for Van de Hare, historians recall his “highlight” video having a clip where he hit the side of the backboard on an open corner three.  Raptor fans with strong memory may recall Voshon Lenard winning us needless games that season, potentially costing a shot at LeBron James.
At-the-time grade: A
Hindsight grade: B

2004 Draft
Raptors Pick: Rafael Araujo (8), Albert Miralles (39)
Controversy: Tons.
Summary: We picked him ahead of Andre Iguodala. It took TNT a couple minutes to even pull up his highlights and it took Raptors fans a decade to forget about him.  We talked about the Fat All-Stars on the pod this week, and Araujo was a card-carrying member and a first-ballot Hall of Famer in that regard.  The Heat acquired Miralles’s rights in exchange for Pape Sow (47th pick).
At-the-time grade: F
Hindsight grade: F

2005 Draft
Raptors Pick: Charlie Villanueva (7), Joey Graham (16), Roko Ukic (41), Uros Slokar (56)
Controversy: Grangergate.
Summary: Fans wanted Gerald Green at the time, and though the swingman has resurrected his NBA careers despite being short a finger on his shooting hand, Babcock needs to be given credit for picking Villanueva who had the better early career.  The bouts of laziness and zero-defense not withstanding, he was a half-decent offensive player.  On the other hand, he picked Joey Graham over Danny Granger, who had rumours of some foot issues swirling.  However, Larry Bird had told Granger that if he was available at 16, he’d take him and he did.  Granger turned out to be an All-Star and Joey Graham turned out to be a very low-IQ player.  Ukic couldn’t shoot and the experiment of him and Will Solomon as second and third string point guards was the lowest point in Raptors PG history.
At-the-time grade: D
Hindsight grade: B

2006 Draft
Raptors Pick: Andrea Bargnani (1), P.J Tucker (35)
Controversy: None, really, but tons of hindsight.
Summary: A year with no consensus #1 pick, the Raptors had decided upon Bargnani months before the draft.  It’s easy to put on the hindsight hat and think that LaMarcus Aldridge was the right choice at the time.  The same people should also realize that Adam Morrison was hyped just as much.  The problem with Bargnani wasn’t that he was drafted, it was that he was kept far too long.  P.J Tucker looked to be a serviceable player, and flirted with the idea of sticking around the NBA as the 10th man on a roster until he got some actual meaningful playing time and people realized that he’s not very good.
At-the-time grade: B
Hindsight grade: F

2007 Draft: No Pick


2008 Draft
Raptors Pick: Roy Hibbert (17) Traded to Indiana, Nathan Jawai (41, via Indiana)
Controversy: Like, maybe, keep the pick?
Summary: The Raptors picked the best player past #5 at #17 in Roy Hibbert and promptly traded him to Indiana in the Jermaine O’Neal deal with T.J Ford, marking the second year in a row where they did not draft a player to play.   Hibbert turned out to be a solid player whereas the O’Neal experiment imploded quickly.  Perhaps the Raptors thought there wasn’t any need to draft a big man with Bargnani on board, but the O’Neal acquisition contradicted that hypothetical approach.  Nathan Jawai was the sixth man of the year for the fat All-Stars, and these days he plys his trade in Turkey for Galatasaray.
At-the-time grade: C
Hindsight grade: F

2009 Draft
Raptors Pick: DeMar DeRozan (9)
Controversy: None
Summary: The Raptors dodged the Brandon Jennings bullet and selected DeRozan, a player that brought some much-needed athleticism to the roster at the time, and has turned out to be an All-Star.
At-the-time grade: B
Hindsight grade: A

2010 Draft
Raptors Pick: Ed Davis (13)
Controversy: None
Summary: In a relatively weak draft, Raptors fan had low expectations from a pick edging the lottery and Ed Davis’s yield didn’t disappoint or pleasantly surprise.  He was a serviceable backup and developed a moderately effective offensive game for a backup before he was shipped off to Memphis where he now frequently appears on the back of milk cartons.  Kind of missed out on Larry Sanders (15).
At-the-time grade: B
Hindsight grade: C

2011 Draft
Raptors Pick: Jonas Valanciunas (5)
Controversy: Kemba!
Summary: Valanciunas has proved himself to be a worthy fifth pick, especially considering who followed him: Jan Vesely, Bismack Biyombo, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, and Jimmer Fredette.  Lot of fans wanted the Raptors to select Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker, given the point guard situation (Jose Calderon) at the time.  Walker showed something tempting last season, but Valanciunas remains a very good selection, even in hindsight.  Missed out on Klay Thompson (11), Kawhi Leonard (15).
At-the-time grade: C
Hindsight grade: A

2012 Draft
Raptors Pick: Terrence Ross (8)
Controversy: But what about Drummond?
Summary: The Raptors reached for Ross who wasn’t in the lottery in most projections.  Harrison Barnes being taken the pick before had fans lamenting the ill-fated coin toss and those meaningless wins at the send of the season.  Salt was poured on the wounds when Drummond was passed up presumably due to Valanciunas already being on the roster.  Ross has redeemed himself to a degree, but Drummond (taken immediately after) still remains a regret, no matter what the center situation was.
At-the-time grade: D
Hindsight grade: B

2013 Draft: No Pick

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  • ZZ

    2010: Patterson?

    • Vimsanity

      Patrick? Wasn’t drafted by us, the Rockets took him at 14.

      • tonious35

        And really clearly showed that BC kinda picked the wrong power forward. Ujiri then corrected that mistake to kindly paint an image that he tea-bagged BC in player management.

  • why

    I never blamed the Raps for picking Joey Graham – theoretically he had the makings of a quality NBA layer – excellent athlete, had a nice mid range shot, came out of a strong college program (Oklahoma State) with a coach who emphasized fundamentals (Eddie Sutton) – given this it was quite surprising he turned out to be a low IQ player.
    Funny story about Joey – at the 2009 3 on 3 tournament at the CNE grounds in Toronto, Joey lost a game of horse to some kid who was taking part at the tournament (high schooler beats NBA player). Soon thereafter The Raptors declined to offer him a contract.

    • Same here… the jury was undecided over Granger and Graham at the time as they both would have fit the team and both had their issues (leg injuries with the former, robotic basketball with the latter). I even remember wanting to use the #7 pick to grab Granger or Graham, and then take Ukic or Antoine Wright with the #16th… imagine my joy when I found out we were able to get Roko with a 2nd rounder. Too bad he couldn’t shoot or play very well. And we all know about Antoine Wright too…

  • jakdripr

    I hope(for TRoss’s sake) he grows into an amazing player, because otherwise that Drummond selection will always hover over him.

    • webfeat

      Emphasizes the fact that you should almost always pick the BPA, especially if there’s a big disparity in talent and potential.

      • Benjamin

        Drummond had a pretty shit college career considering where his potential was. There were questions about his motor. He wasn’t a clearcut BPA at that time.

  • SR


    How about some credit to PJ Tucker for developing his game and playing 30 mpg as the starting SF on a surprisingly competitive Suns team this season? Turns out instead of being an undersized big, he can play on the wing.

    9.4 ppg / 6.5 rpg / 1.7 apg / 1.4 spg and 0.387 3p% – needless to say the Raps sure could have used him at SF this year. His box score production nearly doubled Salmons’.

    • Matteemo

      I was thinking the exact same thing when I read that. Took him a while, but he certainly seems to be a valuable player in the NBA now, aside from his numbers, he’s also a good defender. Credit to him.

    • arsenalist

      Yup. Way too harsh on him.

    • tonious35

      All credit to Tucker knowing what to do and refining everything at the Euro-Leagues. If he “hung” around the NBA, and did not go to the Euro Leagues, he would not be the solid player as we see today in the Suns system.

  • keith

    not a strong draft history. Seems like the hit big with a player (Vince, Bosh, Jonas) only to follow it up with the worst picks ever (Araujo). or no pick at all. Might have been different if they kept Hibbert instead of trading him. Bosh might have stayed with a solid Hibbert next to him (and instead of this team wasting picks on Bargs to fill that center spot, might have picked better players next to play with Bosh and Hibbert). Very up and down drafting. Hopefully Ujiri pulls some magic this year. Ennis and Capela please!

    • webfeat

      Not many teams have a much better history, and some have been much worse. What’s more noteworthy is that the raps traded away six (1 first and 5 seconds) picks from 2007 onwards. There’s always a chance you’ll find guys like Dragic, Gasol, Parsons and Isaiah in the second, and that 2007 draft had guys like Afflalo, Wilson Chandler and Splitter falling to the bottom of the first round.

      • keith

        true, the failure with low first and second round picks was epic! They have done fairly decently with top draft picks, aside from Bargs. I just find it funny that Colangelo could do so well with some picks and so horribly bad in others.

    • Nilanka15

      If memory serves correctly, Hibbert was a pre-negotiated pick on behalf of the Pacers. Had Colangelo decided to keep the pick, there’s no telling who he would’ve drafted instead of Hibbert. Alexis Ajinca perhaps?

      • keith

        true. I forgot it was already negotiated. Still, Hibbert would have been smart to keep. If anything to keep from making the Bargs mistake.

  • Charanvir

    B for the 2005 draft? More of a C then a B

  • moderate_observer

    If the Raptors had picked Leonard, and if he stayed in Toronto, he probably wouldnt be the player he is today, maybe we would have George Hill , since the Spurs traded hill to get him. The Spurs could take any of the raptors draft picks and make them into much better ball players, even the 2nd rounders. Ok , maybe they couldnt help Araujo.

  • truth be told

    Picking Bosh at #4 in 2003 is a hindsight grade of a B, but picking JV a few years ago is a hindsight grade of an A?

    Not a big deal but are those grades based on what the player actually has done in a Raps uniform or is it based on if the Raps still have them on their roster?

    • Benjamin

      Picking Bosh meant we missed out on Wade. I think it’s for that reason alone that it was rated a B.

  • Raptorozans

    Concerning the 2010 draft and the selection of Ed Davis, I often wonder where we would be today without that pick. Consider that we would have lost that pick to Miami if we had squeaked into the playoffs that year instead of just missing out to the Bulls. Getting Davis at 13th afterwards was kind of a steal in that he was projected to go top 5 the prior year if not for an injury.
    Although Davis had completely ass shooting at first (especially FTs), his offensive game eventually improved to the point where I remember Zach Lowe mentioning him as a player to watch in one of his Grantland posts. He developed to the point where I can remember people getting upset over his being traded for Rudy Gay. While Rudy didn’t pan out here obviously, he certainly had some late game-winning moments and could be considered a borderline top-tier player. Ultimately, Ujiri was able to pawn off Gay for those four Sacramento Kings who made such a difference in our season this year, and hopefully some of those guys stay to continue to make a contribution (Vasquez, 2Pat?)
    Long story short, hanging on to that 13th pick in 2010 and getting Ed Davis might, at the time, have seemed like going home from the poker with less than half our chips, but the Raps came back to the table this year and built up our stack again I think. FWIW I think that hindsight grade should stay a B.

  • Brett

    Rafael Araujo still haunts my dreams.