Toronto Raptors’ Draft Busts From the Past

If you’ve listened to any Tim and Sid: Uncut episode over the last month or so, you’d know that a topic of discussion from time to time is the upcoming draft and who the Toronto Raptors will possibly select. The 2011 NBA Draft is taking place soon and every sports analyst, sports broadcaster, blogger, writer, and editor are doing their best to decide who the Toronto Raptors will select as their 5th pick in this year’s draft. Apparently, this year’s draft is so wide open, after the first couple of given prospects are selected, the rest of the field is wide open and each pick could equally make an impact in the NBA. 

I could spend hours trying to come up with mock drafts and still not figure out 100% who the Raptors will select. I’m not a sports analyst/writer, I’m barely a blogger for Christ’s sake. I’m merely a fan of the game, a fan of the Toronto Raptors and what I can write about is what I know – facts. So instead of determining who the Raptors select, here’s a little entry about who the Raptors organization have selected in the past and why they could be considered busts. As easy as we can say the Raptors could end up with a great selection, we can easily say there’s a possibility of selecting a player who will shit the bed. 

1999 Jonathan Bender 5th Selection

Hey, I understand the kid never actually suited up for the Raptors organization and we did get a nice little return for him in Antonio Davis. However, he was still selected. Someone in the scouting department believed that Bender was going to be a superstar. Unfortunately, injuries plagued Bender throughout his career and he’s averaged 5.6 pts. in 237 career games. The last I heard he was trying to make a comeback or something along those lines with the New York Knicks. Other players in the same draft: Shawn Marion (9th Overall), Jason Terry (10th Overall), Ron Artest (16th Overall), Manu Ginobili (57th Overall).

2001 Michael Bradley 17th Selection

The Villanova star saw limited time in his first year in Toronto. During his rookie season, Bradley averaged just over 1 point per game which improved slightly to 5 points per game in 2002. Eventually let go by the Raptors in 2004, Bradley bounced around the league for awhile before signing a contract overseas in the 2006 season. According to Wikipedia, Bradley is now a Head Coach for a High School basketball team in Ohio. Other players in the same draft: Zach Randolph (19th Overall), Gerald Wallace (25th Overall), Gilbert Arenas (31st Overall).

2004 Rafael Arauja 8th Selection

In Arauja’s first season with the Raptors, he averaged just over 3 points per game in limited action (12 minutes/game). While he did hit double digits several times, his second year was actually worse and the Raptor averaged just 2.3 points that season. Eventually, in 2006, Rafael was traded to the Utah Jazz before being waived by the Timberwolves in 2008. Again, from the Wikipedia source, Arauja just signed a deal overseas with Franca Basquetebol Clube. Other players in the same draft: Andre Iguadala (9th Overall), Al Jefferson (15th Overall), Josh Smith (17th Overall).

Other bust selections I would consider notable are: Jimmy King, Aleksandar Radojevic, and some would say Andrea Bargnani (I still think there’s hope for the kid).

And by request of Tim and Sidizens – the blog for the people, here are their selections:
1. Joey Graham
2. DeeAndre Hulett
3. Tyson Wheeler
* I’ll add more to the blog as they roll in

I’m just thinking that nothing’s guaranteed at the fifth spot and I hope the Toronto Raptors make the right choice with their pick in this year’s draft. I’m looking forward to an interesting couple of days. 

Remember Tim and Sidizens, tune into Tim and Sid: Uncut this afternoon at 4PM ET with dudes who know their sports and edu-tainment.

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