8. Jorge Garbajosa, 2006-07
Garbajosa is one of the best Raptors rookies ever and a tragic story at the same time. Brought over to Toronto at age 28 after a long career in Italy and Spain, Garbajosa averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while starting 60 games. It looked like Garbajosa, Chris Bosh, and Andrea Bargnani would be Toronto’s young frontcourt of the future.
Heartbreak sunk in when suffered a horrific leg injury that shattered his fibula and dislocated his ankle in March. Surgery knocked him out for the rest of the season, and he played just seven ineffective games in 2007-08 before returning to Europe for the rest of his career.
Jorge Garbajosa could have been a Toronto Raptors star.
Garbajosa, who earned an All-Rookie nod, was another stretch big man that could’ve added a veteran counterpoint to the young Bargnani and a budding superstar in Bosh. One twist of fate ruined his physical health, and his NBA career was cut short. Oh, what could’ve been…
Garbajosa ended up having some success back in Spain, and he has transitioned exceptionally well to his post-basketball life by becoming President of the Spanish Basketball Federation, but Raptors fans will remember him as a special talent that could’ve become a piece for the future without injuries.