Raptors in NBA Finals?
What's that you ask? Our beloved Toronto Raptors playing in the Finals? Can't be. They've been tearing up the links with the Leafs for months. Just the other night it was the Pistons and Spurs.
Maybe so, but believe it or not, the Raps had quite a hand in building Motown's championship squad. Tonight, Toronto's castaways will try to even it up at three a piece. Try not to get tears all over your keyboard as you read.
To make it easier on your heart, let's start with the scrubs:
Carlos Arroyo. Young 'Los spent 17 games with the Raps after wowing the coaching staff in the summer league and camp. Arroyo played for two months with Toronto and the team was at their most cohesive with him on the floor. Team captain Antonio Davis called him the best point on the squad. Result: Cut immediately.
Lindsay Hunter, aka the defensive wizard who shut down Dwayne Wade and turned Manu Ginobili into... well, a Raptor. Lindsay, whom we deemed as washed up, was traded to Detroit after just half a season for the equivalent of a hidden microphone. In other words, coach's rat Michael Curry.
Tayshaun Prince never even got to wear a Toronto jersey. Our scouts openly mused about his rail thin frame and told anyone who would listen that Kareem Rush was a much better prospect. Twenty minutes after drafting Rush, he was traded for season ticket holder Chris Jeffries and the above mentioned Hunter.
Chauncey Billups, last season's Finals MVP. The 'King of the Hill' spent just 29 games in purple before being shipped off for Michael Williams and Zeljko Rebraca (household names, I'm sure).
And lastly... sigh, Ben Wallace...
Wait a sec Mark. The reigning defensive player of the year was never a Raptor. Oh no? That's because we wouldn't take him for FREE! Say wha? Yep, free. After the McGrady sign and trade, the Magic offered the Raps either two useless future draft picks OR Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. Having an eye for talent, we happily took nothing.
Okay, but at least we didn't give 'em Rip Hamilton right? Sure, if that helps you sleep at night. Enjoy Game 6.
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