NBA Draft 2012: Breaking Down the Toronto Raptors' Last 5 1st-Round Picks
With the 2012 NBA draft quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to break down the last five first-round picks for the Toronto Raptors. Fortunately, none of the picks have been labeled busts yet, although the best pick out of the bunch never actually suited up for the team.
Please feel free to comment, as I am curious to see which player fans want to see the Raptors pick this year.
While Valanciunas has yet to suit up in a Raptors uniform, he has Raptors personnel very excited for when he comes over to North America.
The 7'0" Lithuanian center absolutely dominated in the U-19 Tournament last summer, putting up 30 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks against a very talented U.S. team.
Valanciunas should play right away next year as he is a great rebounder and defender, something Dwane Casey values a lot.
While Ed Davis has yet to reach his potential, he showed he has the ability to be a starting power forward in the NBA when he put up 8.2 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game in April.
If Davis continues to put up numbers like that next year, the Raptors will have gotten great value out of a player drafted 13th overall.
While DeMar DeRozan can be the best player on the floor some nights, other nights he looks disinterested and continually jacks up contested shots. When he’s on his game, it’s easy to understand why the Raptors drafted him back in 2009.
However, DeRozan’s laziness on defense and immaturity has frustrated many Raptors fans. Until DD becomes a team player, he will never reach his potential.
It turns out the best pick of this group never actually played a game for Toronto. Roy Hibbert was shipped to Indiana along with T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and Maceo Baston for Jermaine O’Neal and Nathan Jawai.
Clearly, that trade did not work out for Toronto, as Hibbert was an All-Star this year, putting up 12.8 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game for the third-seeded Pacers.
While Bargnani never panned out the same way other first overall picks have, in a very weak draft class he has been good in comparison. He is a great shooter and has been the Raptors' leading scorer the last two years.
However, he is still an awful rebounder for his size and a below-average defender. At least he Raptors didn’t draft Tyrus Thomas or Adam Morrison.