The Toronto Raptors are expected to select the 29th at the 2020 NBA Draft on November 18th, 2020. The selection may be inconsequential, but draft picks can make or break a franchise.
The Toronto Raptors history in the NBA Draft has been up and down over the years. They are certainly not the worst franchise in Draft history, but they have made some great selections like Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
The Toronto Raptors have also made poor selections like Uros Slokar and Roko Ukic in the past. Their more recent history has been good with selections like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Good choice during the annual NBA Draft can help a team become competitive.
With the 2020 NBA Draft in less than three weeks, here is a look at the five worst draft pick selections all-time by the Toronto Raptors.
1. Raphael Araujo – Center 8th overall 2004 NBA Draft
The Toronto Raptors drafting of Raphael Araujo is more about the incompetence of then Raptors’ general manager Rob Babcock than the player himself. First, Rob Babcock was hired by the Toronto Raptors at a horrible time. He was named the team’s head of basketball operations within three weeks of the draft on June 7th, 2004.
However, this is still no excuse for the selection of Raphael Araujo when Rob Babcock’s NBA career dates back to 1987 as a scout for the Denver Nuggets. The evidence was there that Raphael Araujo was a prospect with little chance of success in the NBA.
He had been suspended two years before the Raptors drafted him at the World Championships. The center had tested positive for the steroid nandrolone and was suspended from international play for two years.
In three NBA seasons, two with Toronto, he averaged just 2.8 points and rebounds per game in 11.4 minutes per game. Raphael Araujo played in just 139 NBA regular-season games.
What was most upsetting about his selection was Andre Iguodala was selected immediately after Araujo at nine in the 2004 Draft. He is also an NBA champion and still playing 16 years later.
Further, if his selection was to secure a center to prevent Chris Bosh from playing that role, Al Jefferson was selected 15th overall in that draft. Another level of talent missed by Rob Babcock was Josh Smith and JR Smith, who went 17 and 18th overall.