Did the Toronto Raptors fail Chris Bosh?

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Golden State Warriors – Andre Iguodala (Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images) /

Rafael Araujo selection over Andre Iguodala

Rob Babcock strikes again. As if trading away Vince Carter for a buyout was not bad enough, Babcock doubled down on his efforts to get the Raptors moved south of the border by selecting Rafael Araujo with the eighth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.

It is true that the Toronto Raptors needed a center at the time, but reaching for one at eighth overall instead of trading back was ill-advised. This was especially the case with superior players still on the board at other positions.

One of those players also played at a position of tremendous need for the Toronto Raptors in swingman Andre Iguodala. ‘AI2’ as he became affectionately known during his time in Philadelphia, was capable of playing either small forward or shooting guard and was a much higher rated player on just about every draft board in the league.

Likely including that of the Raptors. Babcock in his infinite wisdom decided that reaching for a position of need was more important than drafting the best player available.

Shortly after a 2006 incident in which he threw a fan out of the ACC for brandishing a ‘Fire Babcock’ sign, Babcock was finally, mercifully, fired from the Toronto Raptors. Rafael would find himself without an NBA job the following season, while Iggy still plays to this very day.

Iggy made the All-Rookie team, is a two time All-NBA Defensive Team selection, and of course, is an NBA finals MVP. This is indeed one of the biggest draft blunders in Toronto Raptors history.

Even if Babcock was dead set on drafting a center, there actually happened to be a more highly rated one still on the board. Al Jefferson was still available. Jefferson reportedly refused to fly to Toronto for a private workout, but that should not have removed him from the Raptors draft board as it appears it may have.

Iggy could have solved all of our small forward issues. Issues that plagued us until the 2018 season. Al Jefferson was one of the best centers in the league for about seven seasons, a time period that also happened to span twice the amount of time of Rafael’s entire career.