The 5 greatest Toronto Raptors of all time
Founded in 1995, the Toronto Raptors are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies (previously in Vancouver) for the newest franchise in the NBA. Despite that, the Raptors have had their fair share of team success and star players and are even the NBA’s defending champions as of now. Although this is simply my opinion, here are the top five players in franchise history.
Also, no matter how great his season was last year, I am deciding to omit Kawhi Leonard from this list simply due to him only playing one year with the team.
5. Damon Stoudamire
I was going to go with Pascal Siakam here but I’m going with the team’s first-ever non-expansion draft pick. Possibly a bit unknown for newer NBA fans, Stoudamire was Toronto’s first star and although he only played two and a half seasons with the team, he was special.
The 1996 NBA rookie of the year averaged 19.6 points per game in his Raptors career while also being one of the best facilitators in the game with 8.8 assists per game in his time with the team.
4. Chris Bosh
Before joining up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in South Beach, Bosh was one of the best power forwards of the late 2000s.
It took him a year or two to figure things out but by his third season, the 6-foot-11 big man was averaging 22.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. Bosh would have four more All-Star seasons in Toronto before leaving for Miami.
3. Vince Carter
The most exciting player in franchise history and still in the league today, Vinsanity was a sensation in his Raptor days. Acquiring the high-flyer during the 1998 draft for the rights to Antwan Jamison, Carter quickly became one of the most lethal scorers in the league.
The 6-foot-6 wing averaged a career-high 27.6 points per game in only his third year and was an All-Star Weekend staple before being traded to the New Jersey Nets in 2004.
2. DeMar DeRozan
Chosen by the Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, the USC product didn’t take long to show Toronto he was special. The Raptors’ all-time leader in points by a pretty wide margin, DeRozan WAS the Toronto Raptors during the 2010s.
He never led the team to a championship like Leonard but he did give lead the team to some pretty incredible regular seasons and a taste of the playoffs past the first round for the first time since the Vince Carter days.
1. Kyle Lowry
The only player on this list not to play for the raptors as a rookie just so happens to the best player in franchise history. Despite playing for two other teams for half of his career, Lowry is the Raptors all-time leader in assists and three-point field goals.
Even at 34 years old, Lowry still continues to be one of the best point guards in the league and a consistent star for Toronto. He may not have the eye-popping numbers that Carter, Bosh or DeRozan have but Lowry’s impact on the Raptors cannot be understated.
Lowry’s greatness is so well known that even DeRozan believes that his former teammate is the best Raptor of all time