Toronto Raptors: 15 best draft picks of all-time

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Vince Carter
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Vince Carter /
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Charlie Villanueva, Toronto Raptors
01/02/06 -RAPTORS VS WIZARDS-Charlie Villanueva celebrates after making a dunk after a fight beneath the basketThe Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards 117-112 at the ACC in Toronto on Wednesday night.(Photo by Peter Power/The Toronto Star)pmp (Photo by Peter Power/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

81. . Power Forward. University of Connecticut. Charlie Villanueva. 15. player

Highly criticized at the time of his selection Charlie Villanueva was viewed as a “reach” by many draft analysts. ESPN Analyst, Stephen A. Smith was particularly critical of the seventh overall pick, claiming “That pick makes no sense whatsoever … when you think about the fact this team got hoodwinked when they traded away Vince Carter virtually for nothing.”

Villanueva proved many critics wrong, averaging 13 points and 6.4 rebounds in his rookie season while being named to the All-NBA Rookie first team. During his rookie season, Villanueva also set the Raptors’ rookie record for points and rebounds in a game, tallying 48 and 18 in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The game clearly made an impression on the Bucks, as the next offseason Milwaukee traded starting point guard T.J. Ford in order to acquire Villanueva.

Vilanueva had three solid seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, including a particularly impressive 2008-09 season in which he averaged 16 points and seven rebounds. His 2008-09 season was impressive enough to earn him a five-year $40 million dollar deal with the Detroit Pistons, a deal the Pistons would ultimately regret. However, despite his massive contract, Villanueva did manage to have a solid 11-year career, nothing to sneeze at with the seventh overall selection.