Toronto Raptors Draft History Over Last Decade (With Hindsight)

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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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