The post-Vince Carter and pre-DeMar DeRozan era was not a successful one for the Toronto Raptors. The franchise reached the postseason just twice and never won a playoff series, but for those seven years, Toronto basketball did have one shining light: Chris Bosh.
The so-called Bosh era of the Raptors lasted from the time the Hall of Famer was drafted fourth overall out of Georgia Tech in 2003 until his departure in 2010, when that light was extinguished due to his gut-wrenching move to Miami.
Raptors fans were less than happy when Bosh left, but that animosity has cooled considerably over the years and has been replaced by a general feeling of admiration and appreciation. After all, he carried the franchise and kept them semi-relevant for seven frustrating seasons.
For those that still feel anger towards Bosh for leaving, can you really blame him? For every Jose Calderon he got paired up with, there were a handful of underachievers Bosh had to carry with him in a Baby Bjorn. Bosh played with some solid players like Donyell Marshall, Jalen Rose, and Rafer Alston, but who were the real dregs of the starting lineups during the Bosh era in Toronto from 2003 to 2010?
The worst Toronto Raptors starters of the Chris Bosh era
9. Andrea Bargnani, C, 2006-2013
One of the more disappointing No. 1 overall picks in recent memory, Bargnani impressed Toronto’s front office with his European stats, and they seemed certain that he would be the final answer to the question of who would lineup alongside Bosh. Unfortunately, Bargnani’s subpar performance at Summer League was just a signal of things to come.
Though he had a promising rookie season, his fortunes quickly turned in his second year, which saw him regress significantly despite starting over 50 games. Bargnani, who was traded to the Knicks after 2013, struggled with his long-range shooting, which was one of the biggest factors in Toronto’s interest in him.
Andrea Bargnani never became a star for the Toronto Raptors
Despite being a seven-footer, Bargnani never averaged more than 6.3 rebounds in a season and was a liability defensively. Without the elite three-point shot that made him so attractive coming out of Italy (he shot 35 percent from deep in his NBA career), he never made good on his potential.
The Raptors held onto Bargnani for seven years, and after three more seasons in New York and Brooklyn, the Italian was out of the NBA at just 31 years old. While he had a four-year stretch in which he averaged 18.0 points per game, he never lived up to the hype that came with him.