For the third year in a row, the Toronto Babcocks drafted a power forward. Did we say ‘Babcocks’? Excuse the error, we meant Raptors. It’s just when General Manager Rob Babcock seems so hell-bent on putting his stamp on the team, it’s hard to not to think of his all-toughness all-the-time attitude toward the team. And Babcock’s first round draft pick at the 2005 NBA Draft, seventh overall UConn forward Charlie Villanueva, is no different.
Bounce down below to read the Torontoist reaction.
Hell of a Villaneuva
Yes, he has legitimate size (6’11”) and good strength for the Raptors frontcourt. Of course he comes out of an esteemed basketball institution (UConn) under a notoriously tough coach (Jim Calhoun). Sure he’s generally improved as a basketball player every year he’s been alive (how many people can say that?). And absolutely along with other Raps pick-up, Oklahoma forward Joey Graham (apparently athletic like no other), the Raptors will have bulked up their league-worst rebounding department.
B-ball pundits (if you want to call Dick Vitale a pundit) took Villanueva to go no earlier than 16th. Season ticket holders, gathered at the ACC, booed and hissed at the pick. Reaction aside, Villanueva is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the team. His place on the floor, however, isn’t as clear cut. Since he overlaps with star forward Chris Bosh, since Villanueva probably would have still been available by the Raps second pick (Raps had four this year), and since there were a healthy selection of other choices for seventh, it’s fairly legitimate to question the strategy behind the Villanueva pick.
Torontoist says: Too many wonky variables to make a call on the V-man. The draft day second-guessing will haunt Babcock all year…expect him to be replaced at the slightest underperformance next season.