Ten Best Trades in Toronto Raptors History

Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Andrea Bargnani (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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2. Antonio Davis from Indiana for Jonathan Bender – Aug. 1, 1999

This initially seemed like a bad and short-sighted trade. Grunwald was essentially trading a top-five pick, a 7’ forward who could do it all and was ahead of his time, for an undersized veteran big man.

Had Bender blossomed into a Giannis Antetokounmpo-type of player this would be the worst deal in franchise history. What happened instead was almost the opposite.

Davis would play his best basketball as a Raptor setting career-highs in scoring (14.5), rebounding (10.1) and blocking (1.9) during this four-year stint with the team. He also made his first and only All-Star appearance as a substitute during the 2000-01 season.

Although only 6’9”, Davis paired with Oakley to form one of the toughest frontcourt duos in the conference. Their grit-and-grind attitude complimented the flash and sizzle from the backcourt and he was a main reason why the Raptors were a perennial playoff team.

Bender didn’t come close to living up to the hype. The oft-injured prospect never played an entire season and never averaged more than 7.4 points a game a year.

He would only play 30 games from 2003 to 2009 due to serious injuries before retiring at only 29 following a failed comeback attempt with the Knicks in 2010.