5. Charlie Villanueva, 2005-06
Before Bargnani even arrived in Toronto, Villanueva looked like someone who could’ve been a piece of their long-term core, as the former UConn star proved that he was more than capable of scoring at an above-average clip in this league. It’s a shame they only gave him one season in Canada.
Villanueva averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a rookie, and those numbers came with Bosh, Peterson, Mike James, and Jalen Rose all taking shots from him. His blend of interior finishing and 3-point shooting served him well in a very long, very prosperous career, most of which was not in Toronto.
Charlie Villanueva could’ve had a long career in Toronto.
Villanueva was traded for TJ Ford due to the fact that he might be a funky fit alongside Bosh and Bargnani. Ford lasted two up-and-down seasons, while Villanueva carved out a respectable 11-year career with Detroit, Milwaukee, and Dallas as a stretch power forward.
Villanueva was a solid stretch power forward in Milwaukee before a host of injuries in his Detroit tenure ultimately forced him away from the game. He was developing nicely in Toronto, and not trading him may have been the better short-term move for a team that would make the playoffs just a season later.