Original Sin, in Raptorville

Araujo pick set off chain reaction
I‘ve always considered the drafting of Rafael Araujo the Raptors’ original sin. It set off a chain reaction the team has never really recovered from.

Araujo, as every Raptors fan knows, was picked No.8 overall by Rob Babcock, who promised on draft night that the big Brazilian was “Not a stiff.”

Well, he was a stiff. One with small hands and short arms and – quite literally – no upside.

Missing at No.8 isn’t ordinarily the end of the world. It happens. And it says A LOT about the NBA that having the chance to pick the eighth – or in this year’s draft – the ninth best player in the world in a given year carries with it no certainty of success.

Tough league.

But the 2004 draft had its share of good players. One of them – Andre Iguodala – was taken ninth by the Philadelphia 76ers, as every Raptors fan knows.

Which is the problem: It’s not so much that Araujo was a bust, it’s that Iguodala represents exactly and – short of Kobe/LeBron/Wade – I mean exactly what the franchise needs.

He slashes. He defends other wings. He’s a one-man fastbreak. He’s a passable spot-up shooter. He’s very good playmaker and passer. He’s relatively affordable, at $12-million a year, which is pretty good value for a Tier 1A wing player in the NBA.

But you know all this.

Still, I’ve been thinking about Iguodala as I’ve [been] watching Mickael Pietrus with the Orlando Magic.

———-

In contrast, what this corner sees is that the specific time-line … i.e. Chain Reaction … for the de-evolution of the Raptors looks like this:

* Fired Glen Grunwald, Apr 1, 2004
* Hired Rob Babcock, Jun 7, 2004
* Drafted Rafael Araujo [No. 8], Jun 24 2004
* Hired Sam Mitchell, Jun 29, 2004
* Traded Vince Carter, Dec 17, 2004 [for exactly what, in return?]
* Fired Babcock, Jan 26, 2006
* Hired Bryan Colangelo, Feb 28, 2006
* Drafted Andrea Bargnani [No. 1], Jun 28, 2006
* Traded Charlie Villanueva for TJ Ford, Jul 1, 2006
* Traded for Carlos Delfino, Jun 15, 2007
* Signed Jason Kapono, Jul 11, 2007
* Traded TJ Ford & Rasho Nesterovic & No. 17 Draft Pick for Jermaine O’Neal & No. 41 Draft Pick, Jun 26, 2008
* Signed Hassan Adams, Jul 8, 2008
* Signed Roko Ukic, Jul 16, 2008
* Signed Will Solomon, Jul 28, 2008
* Bought out Jorge Garbajosa, Aug 10, 2008
* Fired Mitchell, Dec 3, 2008

33-49/.402, 14th place in the Eastern Conference

———-

April 1, 2004 [and, then, Dec 17] will live-on, in infamy … as a sort of very real, cruel JOKE … in the history of this franchise, purpetrated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment [MLSE, i.e. Richard Peddie & Larry Tanenbaum]. 

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4 Responses to “Original Sin, in Raptorville”

  1. The AltRaps Blog » Blog Archive » Toronto Raptors Linkage for June 2nd from 10:04 to 11:11 Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » Original Sin, in Raptorville – April 1, 2004 [and, then, Dec 17] will live-on, in infamy … as a sort of very real, cruel JOKE … in the history of this franchise, purpetrated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment [MLSE, i.e. Richard Peddie & Larry Tanenbaum]. [...]

  2. Linkage for May 30 1pm to Jun 3 4pm - Raptors Republic Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog » Original Sin, in Raptorville April 1, 2004 [and, then, Dec 17] will live-on, in infamy … as a sort of very real, cruel JOKE … in the history of this franchise, purpetrated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment [MLSE, i.e. Richard Peddie & Larry Tanenbaum]. [...]

  3. Raps Fan Says:

    100% agree. In fact, I was pleading for the Raptors to sign Pietrus last June:

    http://www.raptorstalk.com/2008/06/27/give-me-a-three-or-give-me-death/

    I think Pietrus would have been a better fit given his contract status. Obviously I’d rather have Iggy, but I think there is a cap issue to consider as well.

  4. khandor Says:

    Raps Fan,

    If choosing strictly between Pietrus and Iguodala … as basketball players … I would choose Mickael Pietrus.

    IMO, he is a better multi-purpose highly functional Wing player than Iguodala … even as good as he is.

    Pietrus can defend, board, play different positions, shoot the 3, slash to the rim with strength, and has a terrific disposition.

    At his size, given his age, with his skill set and athleticism, he is only going to get better over the next few years.