2. Grant Long, 1988
You don’t last 15 years in the NBA and play over 1,000 games without boatloads of quality at the professional level, and Long did everything he could to stick. The Eastern Michigan legend started his career playing alongside Rony Seikaly in Miami and ended it alongside a young Paul Pierce in Boston.
Long averaged 9.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his career, but he averaged 11.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during his peak with the Heat and Hawks. A ferocious, tireless defender, Long was a member of those exciting early 90s Heat teams and Doug Collins’ Pistons teams.
The Raptors could add a defending forward like Grant Long.
With nicknames like the self-explanatory “Take Charge Man” or the always memorable “The Human Vitamin,” Long’s No. 43 at the power forward spot next to Seikaly in Miami was one of the most recognizable sights in Heat history. Those teams were fun to watch in no small part thanks to Long’s funky style.
Now an analyst, Long can take pride in the fact that he lasted as long as he did and helped so many winning teams despite getting picked in a range where he was guaranteed next to nothing. The Raptors have the developmental skills needed to draft the next Long.