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Toronto Raptors Draft History (First Round Picks)

1995

7. Damon Stoudamire - G - Arizona

Why: Though the crowd in Toronto was screaming for Ed O'Bannon, Isiah Thomas wanted a point guard to build his new team around. Stoudamire was picked just ahead of Shawn Respert, O'Bannon, Kurt Thomas and Gary Trent.

1996

2. Marcus Camby - C - Massachusetts

Why: The debate was between Camby and Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Camby was coming off a fantastic collegiate career and was the safer pick. The Raptors actually won the draft lottery that year, but rules were in place that wouldn't allow Toronto or Vancouver to get the first pick. Allen Iverson was chosen first overall. Camby was picked just ahead of Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen and Antoine Walker.

1997

9. Tracy McGrady - G/F - Mount Zion Academy (HS)

Why: Isiah Thomas said McGrady was the second best player in the draft behind Tim Duncan and was thrilled to get him with the ninth pick. McGrady was picked just ahead of Danny Fortson, Olivier Saint-Jean, Austin Croshere and Derek Anderson.

1998

4. Antawn Jamison - PF - North Carolina

Why: The Raptors wanted Vince Carter and they knew the Golden State Warriors wanted Jamison so they drafted Jamison and traded him for Carter and cash. Carter was picked just ahead of Robert Traylor, Jason Williams, Larry Hughes and Dirk Nowitzki.

1999

5. Jonathan Bender - F - Picayune Memorial (HS), 12. Aleksander Radojevic - C - Barton County CC

Why: The Raptors chose Bender because they had a deal with the Indiana Pacers that saw Antonio Davis land in Toronto. Radojevic was drafted because he was big (7-3), but a bad back limited him to just three games with the Raptors. Bender was picked just ahead of Wally Szczerbiak, Richard Hamilton, Andre Miller and Shawn Marion. Radojevic was picked just ahead of Corey Maggette, William Avery, Frederick Weis and Ron Artest.

2000

21. Morris Peterson - G/F - Michigan State

Why: The Raptors were probably just looking for the best available player here and Peterson was an absolute gift. He was just coming off an NCAA championship and this pick was really a no-brainer. Peterson was picked just ahead of Donnell Harvey, DeShawn Stevenson, Dalibor Bagaric and Jake Tsakalidis.

2001

17. Michael Bradley - F - Villanova

Why: Coming out of college Bradley actually looked like an NBA talent. He was big and could shoot the ball well. Bradley was picked just ahead of Jason Collins, Zach Randolph, Brendan Haywood and Joseph Forte.

2002

20. Kareem Rush - G - Missouri

Why: The sharp-shooting Rush was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers along with Tracy Murray for Linsdey Hunter and Chris Jefferies (27th pick). Hunter was a veteran point guard who could still play, while Jefferies was a shut-down defender in college (Fresno State). Unfortunately Jefferies' skills didn't translate to the NBA. Rush was picked just ahead of Qyntel Woods, Casey Jacobsen, Tayshaun Prince and Nenad Krstic.

2003

4. Chris Bosh - F - Georgia Tech

Why: This was thought to be a three-player draft (LeBron James, Darko Milicic and Carmelo Anthony), but the Raptors still had some decisions to make with the fourth pick. Bosh played one year at Georgia Tech and the Kevin Garnett comparisons started to pop up. Bosh was picked just ahead of Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich and T.J. Ford.

2004

8. Rafael Araujo - C - Brigham Young

Why: That is a question many Raptors started asking right after this pick was made. The answer is a common one for NBA picks - he was big. Araujo was nearly seven feet tall and weighed 280 pounds coming out of college and was much stronger than just about everybody he played against. Defence was a big concern in college and that didn't get much better in the NBA. Araujo was picked just ahead of Andre Iguodala, Luke Jackson, Andris Biedrins and Robert Swift.

2005

7. Charlie Villanueva - F - Connecticut, 16. Joey Graham - F - Oklahoma

Why: The Charlie Villanueva pick was an interesting one for the Raptors. There were about four players on board that nobody would have batted an eye if they chose, but they went with Villanueva who just happed to play the same position as their best player - Chris Bosh. Rob Babcock, however, thought Villanueva was the best player left regardless of position. Joey Graham was also an interesting choice as there were some very good prospects left to choose from, but Graham's defence was likely the difference. Villanueva was picked just ahead of Channing Frye, Ike Diogu, Andrew Bynum and Fran Vazquez. Graham was picked just ahead of Danny Granger, Gerald Green, Hakim Warrick and Julius Hodge.

2006

1. Andrea Bargnani - F - Benetton Treviso

Why: New Raptors head honcho Bryan Colangelo had been eying Bargnani for quite a while and he proved too difficult to pass up. There were about six players who the Raptors could have taken, but Bargnani's ceiling is very high. Bargnani was picked just ahead of LaMarcus Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas and Shelden Williams.



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