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Most Unpopular Raptor of All-Time Bracket: Wings Region

You can call this part of the bracket the all-disappointment squad.

Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Welcome back to the Most Unpopular Raptor of All-Time bracket! We know it’s opening day of the baseball season, but here’s the wings region for your viewing and voting pleasure. (You can have the Jays first loss of the season on in the background.)

With upsets possible in each matchup, this is most definitely the group of death when it comes to terrible guys who once called themselves Raptors. The wings region is no joke.

Before we get into it, there are some honourable mentions to name: the brothers Williams (Eric and Aaron), the brothers Wright (Julian and Antoine), Jason Kapono every second he’s not in the three point contest, Alan Anderson (a popular write-in vote), and Jamario Moon (suggested by multiple people off their rocker), so there you go folks.

Now, to the bracket!

(Note: You can still vote on Most Unpopular Guards and the first region of Most Unpopular Big Men. Make those votes count!)

Credit: @JHennyTweets on Twitter

#1 Hedo Turkoglu vs. #8 Landry Fields

Toronto Raptors v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Coming off a Finals run with the Magic as one of their primary playmakers as a sort of point forward, Turkoglu was by far the biggest free agent signing in the history of the organization at the time.

But after signing a five year, $53 million dollar deal, Turkoglu only lasted one season as a Raptor before being shipped to Phoenix the next year.

Hedon’t play any defence. Hedo nothing but shoot. The Turkoglu experience.

In his one Toronto season in 2009-10, Turk’s scoring dipped to just 11.3 points per game, his lowest total since 2004 with the Spurs. He also started just 69 games, a fitting number for a man who pretended to be sick during games to roll out to the club.

And let’s not forget, this “commercial”, which is actually just a documentary on the training regimen of Hedo, as sponsored by Pizza Pizza.

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Poor Landry Fields lands on this list due to a bunch of circumstances that he really had no part in determining.

Signed to an offer sheet by Bryan Colangelo, as a way to block Steve Nash (!!!) going to the Knicks, Fields immediately became one of the most overpaid bench wings in the league at the time.

He was actually pretty solid in the lockout season in 20 minutes per game as a glue guy in both the starting five and coming off the bench. But the following two seasons were all but lost due to a crippling elbow injury. With the nerve damage in the elbow, Fields could never re-find the shooting stroke that made him an seemingly valuable 3 and D guy with the Knicks, and he was out of the league after the 14-15 season.

Why does he land in the bracket you might ask? Because of these awful, terrible, no good commercials:

PS Vita, always in our hearts.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Hedo Turkoglu
    (780 votes)
  • 7%
    Landry Fields
    (61 votes)
841 votes total Vote Now

#2 Rudy Gay vs. #7 Joey Graham

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

In the ultimate ploy to try and save his job, Bryan Colangelo traded for Rudy Gay on January 30th, 2013 in exchange for a package that included cult hero Ed “Boss” Davis, and Raptor legend Jose Calderon.

Pairing a high-usage wing with your other developing high-usage wing was quite the bold strategy, and with neither of them being a three point shooter seems like the ultimate move of idiocy. This was only four years ago.

Surprisingly, Gay’s Raptor career felt longer than the 51 games it spanned, and although his counting stats don’t look that bad, when you realize that he averaged 19.5 points on 17.6 shots per game you can’t help but chuckle.

The ultimate Rudy Gay experience came on November 11th of 2013 in a double overtime loss to the Rockets, in which he scored 29 points on 37 field goal attempts. Yes, those numbers are in the correct order.

The only net positive of his Raptor career was that his trade out of town by God (aka Masai Ujiri), which laid the foundation for the run of success the franchise is currently basking in.

New Jersey Nets v Toronto Raptors, Game 1 Photo by Dave Abel/Getty Images

Graham was drafted with the 16th pick in the 2005 draft, and despite having an NBA ready body from the get-go, could never put it together as a legit starting small forward in the league. (Try to resist making a meathead joke here.)

Graham was pulled from the starters job just five games into his tenure for Morris Peterson, and while he contributed off the bench, never reached the potential that the organization thought he had.

In four seasons as a Rap, he averaged 6.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Still, at least Joey was better than his twin brother Stephen, if that’s any consolation.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Rudy Gay
    (739 votes)
  • 29%
    Joey Graham
    (302 votes)
1041 votes total Vote Now

#3 Linas Kleiza vs. #6 Jalen Rose

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers

Following the the 2009-10 season in Greece, Bryan Colangelo brought the “Lithuanian Jordan” back to North America. Unfortunately, Kleiza was more baseball Mike than basketball Mike.

Through 108 games as a Rap, Linas shot just 40 percent from the field and 32 percent from three while averaging just under 10 points and four rebounds per game. He also never topped 49 games in any of the three seasons he spent in Toronto. What a warrior.

He was amnestied by Ujiri and said he never wanted to return to the NBA ever again. To which the rest of the NBA said: cool.

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

That’s a picture of Jalen Rose, sitting on the bench. The bench where he spent most of close games down the stretch during his Raptors career, due to his decision to not play defence and just kick it with Vince Carter during the dark part of his NBA career.

The numbers weren’t even that bad for Rose, as he averaged 16, three and three over 177 games as a Raptor. But he played during what many consider the most forgettable era of Raptors basketball and was essentially the Robin to Vince’s batman, which left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths. And he was worked by Kobe.

Full disclosure, I love Jalen’s TV work, and his appearances on Best Damn Sports Show when he was still on the team are still a hilarious watch:

But Jalen also let a man hang 81 points on him. I mean... damn.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Linas Kleiza
    (391 votes)
  • 38%
    Jalen Rose
    (246 votes)
637 votes total Vote Now

#4 Shawn Marion vs. #5 John Salmons

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Bobcats Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I’m sure Shawn Marion has forgotten his 27 starts as a Raptor in 2009, BUT I CERTAINLY HAVEN’T.

Coming north as part of the package for fellow bracket member Jermaine O’Neal (coming this Wednesday), the Matrix was caught in a space time continuum once he hit the border.

If you can believe it actually happened, Marion averaged 14 and 8 during the stint with the Raps. Though it seems the only highlights and photos that exist of Marion as a member of the team are in his St. Patrick’s finest:

Marion was traded to Dallas the following season (in the convoluted deal to bring Hedo to Toronto), and won a title with the Mavs in 2010-11. The only positive thing to be said here is the original trade that brought Marion to Toronto also snagged the Raptors the pick they used for Jonas Valanciunas.

Toronto Raptors v Boston Celtics Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Salmons came to the Raps as part of the Rudy Gay package, and to say he had lost a step or two since his days as a near 20 point scorer with the Kings, Bulls and Bucks would be a generous statement. Ah what could have been if Salmons had not spurned the Raptors back in 2006...

He was a favourite of Dwane Casey though, and managed to play in 60 games as a rotation wing with the Raps despite getting absolutely annihilated by Joe Johnson in the playoffs when it mattered most.

The real reason he’s on the list is this stretch of the 4th quarter against the Thunder. Giddy up.

Poll

Who was more unpopular?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Shawn Marion
    (166 votes)
  • 65%
    John Salmons
    (318 votes)
484 votes total Vote Now

Check back Wednesday for our final region of the opening round, headlined by the overwhelming favourite in the entire competition.

Il Mago comin’.