5 best players who played for the Raptors that you forgot about
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5 best players who played for the Raptors that you forgot about

The defending champions Toronto Raptors has been home to many memorable superstars over the years, with the likes of Vince Carter, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyle Lowry just to name a few.

While Kawhi Leonard only spent one season with the Raps, he also won’t be forgotten anytime soon after leading the entire nation to its first-ever NBA title.

Others, however, are not as lucky and failed to leave an imprint in the city of Toronto during their rather forgettable tenures. Let’s check out five players you probably don’t remember ever wearing Raptors jerseys.

Hakeem Olajuwon

“The Dream” is one of the greatest centers of all-time and was the main man behind the Houston Rockets’ back-to-back title conquests in ’94 and ’95.

He played three years for the University of Houston before the Rockets made him their number one overall selection in the 1984 draft. Olajuwon spent 17 seasons in H-Town, and most believe he ended his illustrious career in Texas.

That certainly was not the case since he spent his final season in the NBA playing for the Raptors in the 2000-01 season. While most legends nowadays sign one-year contracts to retire with their longtime teams, Hakeem took the other route and ended his rein elsewhere.

The Nigerian center surprisingly declined a 3-year, $13 million deal with Houston, and was traded to Toronto for multiple draft picks. Olajuwon, who was already 38 at the time, was nowhere near his superstar stature. He normed career-lows of 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in 61 games and was forced to retire following a back injury.

Shawn Marion

Marion will always be remembered for his high-wire act for the 7-seconds-or-less Suns of the mid-2000s. After another forgettable stint with the Heat in ’08-’09, “The Matrix” found his way on the move again alongside Marcus Banks in a trade to the Raptors for Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon.

He played second-fiddle to Chris Bosh and was actually pretty decent, averaging 14.3 points, 8.3 boards, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks in just 27 appearances, but the team failed to make it to the playoffs.

Toronto didn’t see him as a good fit and flipped him to the Mavericks in the offseason.

Chauncey Billups

Before Billups became a perennial All-Star for the Pistons, he was once a journeyman who struggled to find his footing in the league. The Celtics gave up on him early in his rookie year, shipping him to the Raptors in a multi-player deal in 1998.

While he would later be known as “Mr. Big Shot” for his clutch heroics, Billups wasn’t the same player for Toronto back then. The Raptors were uncertain whether to use him as a point guard or a shooting guard and couldn’t maximize his gifts.

He suited up 29 times for the Raps, tallying 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.0 steal and was traded to the Nuggets the following year.

Peja Stojakovic

The Serbian sharpshooter’s tenure in Canada lasted for just a total of two games, so no one will fault you for not knowing this one. Back in the 2010-11 season, Stojakovic’s production has dipped significantly from his Sacramento days. However, the 6-foot-9 sniper could still shoot the ball with the best of them and the Raptors thought it was a good idea to trade for his services mid-year.

They certainly didn’t get their money’s worth, as Peja could only suit up for two of the remaining 28 games of the regular season due to a knee injury.

PJ Tucker

Tucker is now known as the anchor for the small ball Rockets, but not many remember his rookie year with Toronto in the 2006-07 season. He was selected 35th overall by the team in the 2006 draft and spent most of his time with the Colorado 14ers (now Texas Legends) in the D-League (now G-League).

He had an uneventful tenure with the Raptors, playing just 4.9 minutes in 17 games and putting up just 1.4 points and 1.8 rebounds. After honing his craft overseas, Tucker is now a revered 3-and-D guy in the league.