Worst-ever Raps?

On a super-slow news day like today, my mind is mulling all the players I’ve seen in Raptor red (and purple, and pinstripes) over the years. I thought it might be fun to consider some All-Time Raptor awards, none of which are complimentary.

Worst Raptor – God, there have been some woeful guys suit up for us, particularly in those early years at Skydome. I’ll have to go with Mengke Bateer, the only NBA player born in Mongolia. He stood (and still stands, as far as I know) 6’11″, and weighed 300 pounds. Neither his height nor his heft was used to do anything mildly challenging like grabbing rebounds. He lasted 7 games as a Rap, scoring 4 baskets.

Worst opposing player – We’ve seen some unqualified people masquerading as pros, but perhaps the most astonishingly dreadful combination of no-talent and no-effort was Zarko Cabarkapa (don’t blame me, I didn’t name him) who was somehow chosen #17 in 2003. That spectacular draft year also featured a kid out of high school named LeBron James, and also-rans like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. In case any of you question the importance of drafting well, note that Darko Milicic was selected before Carmelo Anthony, and Zarko was chosen before David West. Stunningly bad choices like those get General Managers fired.

Mar 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) carries the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay (22) defends at the Air Canada Centre. Miami defeated Toronto 108-91. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Most out of shape Raptor – A tough choice between Oliver Miller and Rafael Araujo, but I’ll go with Hoffa. There were several games during which I thought he might throw up on the sidelines. Oliver reminded me of Mr. Creosote, but he could play.

Worst First Rounder ever selected by Raps – Sadly, there are a lot of candidates. Alexander Radojevic in ’99, Michael Bradley in ’01 (who scouted that guy?), Araujo in ’04. Some of you may nominate Charlie Villenueva or Joey Graham, but while they both disappointed, at least they had careers. [20-second timeout: Did you hear the rumour about Charlie V being traded back to our team? Sure, let's do that - and while we're at it, let's bring back Vince! What's the emoticon for sarcasm?] I’ll stick with Hoffa, making him a double-worst “winner”. He was the highest pick at #8 of our Worst nominees (the others were #12 & #17, respectively), and a complete flop. Still on the board of an admittedly down year: Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson and Kevin Martin.

And now back to the present – watch for a two-part series analyzing the Raptors’ front office and coaching staffers, arriving shortly at a Raptors Rapture website near you.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.




Tags: Toronto Raptors

  • some random guy

    Have to go with Rafael Araujo, for the simple reason we used a 8th overall pick, with Igoudala drafted literally right after him.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi srg: Yes, it’s pretty sad when you think about it. We would have been better off trading the pick (trade down – it was an off-year – and grab a proven rotation player plus the other team’s first rounder). I like have lots of players to choose from. You create more internal competition, likely have better depth, and are insulated from injury. That’s one of the many reasons I didn’t like the Ed & Jose for Rudy Gay deal.
      Thanks for commenting.
      P.S. Any thoughts on worst opposing player?

  • Newmarket_Brian

    Hi Will: Sorry for slow reply – this comment got “lost” somewhere.
    I agree that the addition of Psycho T fills a gap that the Raps may not have known they had. We need a guy who will run through walls (to borrow a baseball metaphor) to grab a board, or defend a teammate.
    Thanks for commenting.

    • Will BearsNation Williams

      No prolemo… Raptors still need a “Glue Guy” like a Toni Allen.. to get dirty..

      • Newmarket_Brian

        Hi Will:
        I’m glad you came back, after that delay in your first comment.
        I agree about the need for a Glue Guy, and here’s someone to consider….Patrick Patterson. I was impressed with him when I watched him closely during the Bobcats game (an advantage of seeing games live). He presents very smartly on defense to harass the ballhandler, yet ducks back into position nicely. He doesn’t take crazy shots, and crashes the boards. What do you think?