Did the Toronto Raptors fail Chris Bosh?

Toronto Raptors - Chris Bosh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Chris Bosh (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Andrea Bargnani (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Drafting Andrea Bargnani and trading Charlie Villanueva

Compounding the error of passing on LaMarcus Aldridge for Andrea Bargnani is that the club traded away a perfect system fit in Charlie Villanueva. Charlie Villanueva had a terrific rookie season for the Toronto Raptors. He finished as a first-team All-Rookie and was second in Rookie of the Year voting behind first overall pick Emeka Okafor.

Charlie Villanueva was a very similar player to Andrea Bargnani numbers-wise as a rookie. What makes this more alarming is that Bargnani’s numbers include his entire time as a Raptor, including the 2009-2010 season when he jacked up 17.8 shots per game. Charlie Villanueva was a better rebounder and shooter than Andrea Bargnani.

One could argue based on the numbers and the game tape that Villanueva was a better player as a rookie than Bargnani was in his entire Raptors career. In fact, his 48-point eruption as a rookie is more than Bargs’ career high of 41 he set after Chris Bosh departed the Raptors.

The Charlie Villanueva trade did net the team a starting point guard in T.J. Ford, but that is neither here nor there. Selecting a seven-foot power forward with three-point range when the team already had one makes little sense. This is especially true when one considers that the Raptors best player, Chris Bosh, also played power forward.

Bargnani never profiled as someone who would be able to play the center position effectively. To make matters worse, Bargnani graded as an inferior basketball player to Villanueva in all facets of the game, aside from shooting the deep ball. This was especially true when it came to defense and rebounding.