Who do you consider the most overrated Toronto Raptors of all-time? There are no right or wrong answers in a list like this. Just because someone makes this list doesn’t mean they are hated or busts. Just that we as a group might have expected more from them, or they have over time have been romanticized for their time as Raptors.
This list is a mix of old and not so old Toronto Raptors. Some wore purple and a couple still currently wear the red and white currently sported by the Raptors. The simple fact is everyone will have their own list of who they think should be included. Even some of the best Raptors of all-time might get consideration to be on this list.
If you are looking for Vince Carter or Chris Bosh, on this list you will be disappointed they are not on the list. If there is a list of most hated Raptors of all-time in the future both have strong cases for that list.
Yes, Jose Calderon, the longest serving current Raptor, is on this list. Some will say that is crazy to have him on such a list. After all, he is in the Raptors' record books with more than 3,000 assists and counting. It is not like Jose has not produced any stats.
You might recall when Kenny Smith on TNT referenced Calderon as a solid backup and not a starter in this league. At the time, that got a lot of Raptors fans upset. This might do the same. Ask yourself though, was Kenny really wrong?
Calderon’s time as the starter has always been a source of division within the Raptors fanbase to varying levels. He has never been a part of a Raptors team that has won a playoff series, and his performances back when they were making the playoffs were nothing to write home about.
He committed the turnover that cost them Game 6 and the series against the New Jersey Nets. With the exception of one game in the Orlando series, he was out played by Jameer Nelson.
Calderon will always be thought of in high regard by a portion of this fanbase, but for another portion, he is a guy that put up stats but ultimately never got it done.
The point guard position has had its biggest boom period perhaps in NBA history. Other teams in the NBA were getting more talented at the position. The Raptors remained with Calderon and continued losing ground at that position.
Above all else, he is one of the worst defenders at his position in the league.
Before the Raptors were even around, I loved this guy as a Charlotte Hornet. If this was a list of all-time Charlotte Hornets, he likely is on the list. He was beloved when he ended up in Toronto with the Raptors. Many would list him as one of their all-time favorite players for the franchise.
In fact, you would think he played here for many years based on that. The truth is, he really didn’t play here all that long. In just two seasons, he barely saw the floor in the second season—in total, 83 games in his entire history in Toronto.
He only averaged 5.1 points and 3.7 assists in 80 games in his only full season in 1999-2000.
What probably isn’t overrated is how much Raptor fans loved this guy and still do in most cases. We love him for all of the good things he did off the floor with fans and for just being a really classy guy. If this is about numbers or length of time with the club, he comes up short.
His legend in Toronto is far greater than his stature or production as Raptor.
Matt Bonner is another guy that is still loved to this day. He also married a Canadian girl and calls Canada home. He was tagged with the nickname “The Red Rocket” from former Raptor broadcaster and current radio voice of the Bulls, Chuck Swirsky.
This was because in his time in Toronto as a player, Bonner never owned a car and would take public transit or walk to the arena. At the time, there was a campaign for public transit to “ride the rocket” and the rest is history.
When you think of Bonner’s time in Toronto, I will almost guarantee the first thing that pops into your head. It was a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bonner got into a scuffle with Kevin Garnett, and he stood his ground, got ejected for it and left to cheers as a hero that night.
In reality, Bonner was a nice player but nothing special. He still kind of is that guy with the Spurs, but has improved to some degree in that organization. The reason we all remember Bonner is more about his unique personality, how he truly embraced the city and now calls it home in the offseason and that incident with Garnett.
His legend is based around a cool nickname, one game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the fact he is unique. If not for all these facts, would we even remember Matt Bonner or would he be lost in our memory like Reggie Slater?
Yes, we are going there. Andrea Bargnani was the first and only No. 1 pick in this franchise’s history. That almost sets you up to make a list like this. The debate has raged for years on if Bargnani is ever going to live up to expectations of that No. 1 pick. We enter year No. 7 of his NBA career and are still waiting.
As the case with Calderon, there is no doubt that Bargnani has produced numbers in his time with the Raptors. What he hasn’t produced is rebounding, leadership and most importantly, wins. When you are picked first overall, you are expected to do all of those things.
The good news for Bargnani is he could still turn things around and play his way off a list like this. We did see a glimpse of a different Bargnani last season, but it still remains to be seen if that was something he can build on or not.
To simply call him a bust is not reasonable or fair. On the other hand, he hasn’t done enough to meet the high expectations that come with getting your name called first on draft night either.
There is no doubt we got to see flashes of what was to come from the career of Tracy McGrady. You could see that he was going to be a highly talented player.
That said, as the years go on and McGrady has now taken his talents to China, we forget most of his greatness was after he wore purple.
A lot of McGrady’s best moments came as the villain, and not the hero, in terms of the Raptors. He embraced that role to have some of his best performances against the team that drafted him out of high school. He was booed and hated by jaded Raptor fans.
His spot on this list isn’t about that. It is about the fact he really became the All-Star talent in other stops on his NBA journey. He showed signs in Toronto, but he ultimately became what he was in places like Orlando and Houston.
Perhaps why he belongs at No. 1 on this list is because we all get caught playing the “What if?" game with him. He and Vince Carter could have made a dynamic duo who would have pushed the Raptors to levels they never have reached.
If you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe Kobe Bryant who has stated in the past (h/t OCanada.com) if the pair had stayed together in Toronto, he felt his Lakers with Shaq would have had to battle them every year for a championship.
What might have been will always be what is thought of when you think about Tracy McGrady and the Toronto Raptors.