Top 10 draft picks in Raptors history

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 15: Damon Stoudamire
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 15: Damon Stoudamire /

The Toronto Raptors joined the NBA for the 1995 season and have drafted 37 players in franchise history. Here are the top 10 draft picks in Raptors franchise history.

The Toronto Raptors joined the NBA for the 1995 season and have had the opportunity to draft 37 players in franchise history. They didn’t have the chance to draft players during the 2007 and 2013 seasons due to trades. The Raptors haven’t had a great deal of success over the years finding players through the draft but they have done an excellent job of trading players and signing through free agency.

Here is the list of the top 10 draft picks in Toronto Raptors history:

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10. Jonas Valanciunas 2011 – Round 1 – 5th pick.

Jonas has been a solid but not spectacular player for the Raptors during his five year NBA career. He’s a 7-foot centre that moves well and has improved year by year into a quality NBA player. By selecting Jonas, the Raptors missed out on the likes of Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler who were all drafted later in the first round of that year.

However, Jonas has started 357 career games for Toronto with 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game which means the franchise got excellent value in return for that pick.

9. Charlie Villanueva 2005 – Round 1 – 7th pick.

Charlie V was a star player in college who won the 2004 NCAA National Championship with UConn. He was impressive during his year and a half in Toronto where he was named to the NBA All-Rookie team after a solid campaign where he averaged 13 points with 6.4 rebounds per game. He was shipped off to Milwaukee in 2006 in exchange for TJ Ford but he went on to have a solid 11 year career in the NBA with Detroit, Dallas, Milwaukee and Toronto.

8. PJ Tucker 2006 – Round 2 – 35th pick.

Tucker didn’t make much of a dent during his first stint in Toronto where he only played in 17 games with 1.8 points per game. The 2016-17 season was a second chance to make good with the Raptors where he was a key defensive player during his 24 regular season games and in the playoffs. PJ bounced around Europe for five years before establishing himself as a legitimate NBA player where he has played for Phoenix, Toronto and now Houston where he just signed four-year $32 million deal.

7. Antawn Jamison 1998 – Round 1 – 4th pick.

We all know the story of how the Raptors drafted Jamison and then traded him on draft night for his North Carolina Tar Heels teammate Vince Carter. Jamison went on to have an impressive 16 year career in the NBA where he averaged 18.5 points per game over his career and was named the Sixth Man of the Year in 2004. Even though he didn’t play for Toronto, it was still a great pick and worked out for everybody involved.

6. Marcus Camby 1996 – Round 1 – 2nd pick.

Camby was an absolute stud coming out of UMass and he delivered for Toronto during his rookie year in 97 where he was named to the NBA All-Rookie team. His 14.8 points per game for Toronto in 97 where the highest of his 17 year NBA career. He went on to the lead the NBA in blocks four times, was named to the NBA All-Defensive team four times and was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

5. Morris Peterson 2000 – Round 1 – 21st pick.

Mo Pete led his Michigan State Spartans to the 2000 NCAA National Championship and he followed that up by being named to the NBA All-Rookie team in 2001. He played seven years in Toronto and was a fan favourite before he moved on to New Orleans and Oklahoma City to close out his 11 years in the NBA.

More importantly, Mo Pete helped keep the franchise relevant during those lean years post Vince Carter and gave Toronto fans something to cheer about. He was the glue that kept basketball relevant in Toronto between the Vince era to the Drake/Lowry/DeMar era.

4. DeMar DeRozan 2009 – Round 1 – 9th pick.

DeMar has developed into a three-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist during his time with the Raptors. He has helped catapult the franchise into a much more glamorous era than any of his predecessors and has become the face of the franchise across Canada. He has helped lead the Raptors to four straight playoff appearances while developing into the one of the leagues best players. He averaged 27.3 points per game in 2016-17 and is the all-time leader in games played in franchise history.

3. Damon Stoudamire 1995 – Round 1 – 7th pick.

Stoudamire was pretty much the only reason to watch the Raptors during the early days of the franchise. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996 and still holds the top three spots in franchise history for minutes played with over 40 minutes per game in each of his three seasons in Toronto. He was traded in 98 to Portland for Alvin Williams among others.

Without Stoudamire in Toronto, basketball may have failed miserably and the franchise could’ve ended up with the same fate as Vancouver’s team which is why he deserves a spot in the top three in franchise history.

2. Tracy McGrady 1997 – Round 1 – 9th pick.

When a guy goes on to have a Hall of Fame career you have to consider that a good draft pick. McGrady was a seven-time NBA All-Star and twice won the league scoring title. It’s just too bad most of his accolades came after he left Toronto. On numbers alone, you have to put McGrady in the No. 2 spot in franchise history.

1. Chris Bosh 2003 – Round 1 – 4th pick.

It wasn’t a given that Bosh would turn into a Hall of Fame shoo-in when he was taken fourth overall out of Georgia Tech. Many wondered if his slight frame could hold up to the pounding of the NBA.

Bosh went on to win two NBA Championships and was an 11 time All-Star and an Olympic Gold Medalist. During his seven seasons in Toronto, Bosh averaged 20.2 points with 9.4 rebounds per game but more importantly helped fans in Toronto believe that this team could develop and attract star players without Vince Carter in town.

You could make a case for Bosh being the greatest Raptor ever and without a doubt is the teams best draft pick in franchise history.

Next: Chris Bosh says it was 'scary' leaving Toronto