Conjuring up a list of the top 25 players in Toronto Raptors history is a lot more difficult than it sounds.
Approximately 183 players have suited up for the team since the franchise was introduced to the league back in 1995. Of those 183, only 45 competed in more than 100 games.
Finding greatness in this pack of talent will be hard. Only three Raptors have ever been named an All-Star, and the team itself has only qualified for the postseason 27.7 percent of the time.
However, after scouring through the annals of Raptors history, I believe I've come up with a list of 25 players that is acceptable, reasonable and fair.
Statistics, popularity, the player's contributions on and off the court, longevity, talent and individual performance were all taken into consideration. Also, only players with at least 100 games as a Raptor under their belt can qualify for this list.
Notable names like Rudy Gay, Charlie Villanueva, Hedo Turkoglu, Jonas Valanciunas, Jermaine O'Neal, Jarrett Jack and Muggsy Bogues will not be appearing on this list after failing to meet that key piece of criteria.
*All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com
*Career statistics are a look at each player's numbers as a member of the Raptors, and not over the course of their entire career.
Career statistics: 127 games, 11.8 points, 41.4 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from three-point range, 3.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists
- Ninth in assists (706)
- Fourth in assists per game (5.6)
- 17th in steals (156)
"Skip 2 My Lou," my darlin'.
As one of the original And1 streetball players, Rafer Alston was never supposed to make it in the NBA. His flash and panache weren't supposed to translate well at the pro level.
Well, there were moments where that was the case, but for the most part, Alston had no problem using his snazzy style of play to his advantage.
He had a masterful control of the basketball, which aided in his ability to dribble past defenders with ease. Whether it was a lightning quick crossover, putting the ball between the defenders' legs or a sudden, mind-blowing spin move, Alston knew how to make the opposition look silly.
His tenure with the Toronto Raptors will mostly be remembered for his attitude problems and issues with the coaching staff. Alston had a cockiness to him that was sometimes unwarranted, but that was just the kind of guy he was.
He wasn't the greatest point guard the team ever had, but he was definitely one of the most exciting to watch.
Career statistics: 275 games, 6.4 points, 48.0 percent from the field, 82.7 percent from the free-throw line, 3.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists
- 16th in points (1771)
- Ninth in field-goal percentage (48.0)
- 10th in true shooting percentage (55.3)
To this day, there are still a number of Raptors fans who truly believe in their heart of hearts that Joey Graham was never utilized to his fullest potential.
He was a tremendous athlete with a body that appeared to be chiseled out of stone. Graham had a look to him that made you want to see more.
The effort was always there and the fanbase liked him, which probably helped raise its tolerance for some of the decisions he'd make.
It was frustrating because he had all of the physical tools in the world to succeed, but it never fully came together. His understanding of how to play the game of basketball at a high level was never there. Graham would make silly mistakes on the court that would leave you scratching your head.
Yet, through all of that, fans still wanted more Joey Graham.
His tenure with the team and his overall likeability help him crack this list, although, it would have been nice to see him contribute more where it mattered most.
Career statistics: 194 games, 6.7 points, 42.0 percent from the field, 39.0 percent from three-point range, 1.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists
- Ninth in three-point field-goal percentage (39.0)
- 12th in three-point field goals (202)
Having played the prime of his career over the course of 10 seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, Dell Curry would close things out as a Toronto Raptor, spending his final three years in the NBA north of the border.
His biggest claim to fame as a member of the team was his clutch three-pointer with 54.4 seconds remaining in Game 7 of the Raptors' 2001 second\-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers. That shot brought Toronto to within one point of Philadelphia at 88-87.
Those three points were the last scored by either team in that legendary series.
Curry knew how to shoot the basketball and knew how to do it well. He didn't play major minutes, but when he found his way on the court, it was usually a guarantee that Curry would contribute his offense from 22 feet and beyond.
Oh, how time flies.
Career statistics: 127 games, 10.5 points, 50.0 percent from the field, 64.1 percent from the free-throw line, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists
- Eighth in blocks (232)
- Second in rebounds per game (1.8)
- Seventh in Player Efficiency Rating (17.5)
- Record: Most blocks in a game (12, vs. Atlanta Hawks, March 23, 2001)
Agile, powerful, explosive and physical. That pretty much describes Keon Clark as a basketball player during his days with the Raptors.
There isn't a more underrated player in the league right now than Keon Clark. I'm not kidding. I keep writing this and nobody listens to me -- if he played 40 minutes a game, he'd be a 20/10 guy, night after night. Mark my words.
Clark had every opportunity in front of him to be an above-average NBA talent. His outstanding leaping ability and long, lanky arms and legs helped him swat away countless shots around the basket.
In the end, he squandered it all away. His addiction to marijuana and alcohol led to his demise as a professional athlete.
In 2007, Clark admitted during a court hearing that he would drink alcohol during halftime of every NBA game, and that he was rarely sober on the court.
The talent was always there, but Raptors fans will always wonder how effective Clark could have been if he wasn't battling those inner demons.
Career statistics: 160 games, 7.3 points, 49.0 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from three-point range, 3.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists
- Fourth in three-point percentage (42.1)
- Second in true shooting percentage (58.9)
- First in offensive rating (121.2)
"The Red Rocket."
Raptors' fans LOVED Matt Bonner. To this day, a case can be made that he's still one of the most beloved and popular players the Raptors have ever had.
Was he one of the 25 most talented players in franchise history? Probably not. In 2005-06 (his best season as a Raptor), Bonner only averaged 7.5 points and 3.6 rebounds.
Off the bat, there were no expectations for him. Any production was good production. He wasn't an imposing figure with out-of-this-world athleticism or a domineering personality. He was himself and played to his strengths on the court.
Fans adored him for it.
He would even take TTC transportation to get to work, which made him even more likeable. He was a player of the people. Bonner was a down-to-earth kind of guy who appreciated every opportunity he had to compete.
Watching Bonner join the San Antonio Spurs in a deal that landed Toronto Rasho Nesterovic was almost gratifying for fans of the Raptors. Losing a fan favorite hurt, but Bonner had earned his spot in the NBA and was now able to play a meaningful role on a championship team.
He eventually won a ring in 2007.
Career statistics: 193 games, 6.3 points, 54.8 percent from the field, 69.2 percent from the free-throw line, 4.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists
- Second in field-goal percentage (54.8)
- Eighth in offensive rating (112.4)
Rasho Nesterovic was acquired in a 2006 trade with the San Antonio Spurs that sent Matt Bonner, Eric Williams and a 2009 pick to the Alamo city.
In his first season with the team, Nesterovic started 73 games and helped the Raptors improve their league standing in the defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) category from 29th in 2005-06 to 12th in 2006-07.
He was never a primary option on offense—which was the case with every team he played for throughout his 12-year NBA career—but when called upon, Nesterovic could put up points.
During a nine-game stretch from Dec. 15 to Dec. 30, 2006, Nesterovic would score 10 or more points in eight of those games. That offensive surge was all the more important with star player Chris Bosh on the sidelines and out of the lineup.
Nesterovic never tried to do too much. He did the little things that helped the Raptors win games, keeping a low profile in the process. He could rebound, defend the paint and use his soft touch to score around the basket.
Coaches loved him, his teammates respected him and fans appreciated him.
Career statistics: 126 games, 13.2 points, 44.8 percent from the field, 83.7 percent from the free-throw line, 2.7 rebounds, 7.2 assists
- Eighth in assists (908)
- Second in assists per game (7.2)
- Seventh in steals per game (1.2)
- Fifth in Player Efficiency Rating (19.0)
T.J. Ford will forever be remembered as the starting point guard for the first—and as of now, only—Atlantic Division championship team in franchise history.
His first year as a Raptor coincided with the team's most successful regular season ever. Sure, guys like Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani and Jorge Garbajosa deserve a lot of credit, but Ford was the man running the show.
Even with Bosh out of action for a key stretch of the season, Ford would step up his game to help compensate for the offense lost by his fallen teammate.
Who could forget his performance vs. the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 20, 2006? With the ball in his hands and the game tied at 96, Ford would drive to the free-throw line, put up a 15-footer and win the game at the buzzer. Raptors fans hadn't seen a lot of game-winning shots at the end of regulation since the Vince Carter era, so that was definitely a special moment.
Injuries and selfish play ultimately led to his demotion in favor of Jose Calderon the following season. Ford was eventually traded to the Indiana Pacers in a package for Jermaine O'Neal.
Things didn't end well for Ford in Toronto, but there is no denying the fact that he left his mark on the franchise while he was here.
Career statistics: 126 games, 13.5 points, 44.8 percent from the field, 65.4 percent from the free-throw line, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists
- Fifth in blocks (360)
- Sixth in rebounds per game (6.8)
- First in blocks per game (2.9)
- Member of All-NBA Rookie First Team (1997)
Due to an expansion agreement the franchise had with the league at the time, the Toronto Raptors were ineligible to land the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. The highest they could go was pick No. 2, which is the pick they ultimately wound up with.
Marcus Camby, the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year, was the obvious choice. He helped lead the UMass Minutemen to an appearance in the Final Four before they lost to the eventual champions, Kentucky.
Camby would average 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks during his rookie year. He even managed to land a spot on the All-NBA Rookie First Team, despite missing 19 games due to injury.
He was long, lean and full of energy. He even showed an uncanny ability to run and dribble the basketball, which looked all the more impressive with his 6'11", 210-pound frame.
Camby's defense was his bread and butter. He would lead the NBA in blocks per game in 1997-98 with 3.7. The Raptors' defensive rating also saw a boost upon his arrival, jumping from 28th in the league in 1995-96 to 17th his rookie year.
During the 1998 offseason, Toronto would trade Camby to the New York Knicks for a package that included Charles Oakley and Sean Marks. The team needed veteran leadership, and his proneness to injuries was becoming a huge red flag.
Career statistics: 235 games, 11.9 points, 46.0 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from three-point range, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists
- Seventh in three-point field goals (342)
- Tied for eighth in steals (252)
- 12th in points (2785)
- Third in three-point percentage (42.4)
- Ninth in offensive rating (111.7)
In one of the more embarrassing defeats in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors would drop an exhibition game to Maccabi Tel Aviv by a final score of 105-103 in October of 2005, becoming the first NBA team to do so in 27 years.
The two points that decided the game were scored by Anthony Parker, who eventually made his way to Toronto to become the team's starting shooting guard.
If you can't beat 'em, sign 'em.
This was Parker's chance for redemption at the pro level. He spent three years playing subpar basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic in the late '90s before heading over to Europe. Coming to the Raptors was his opportunity to show the world that he belonged in the NBA.
Parker was one of those players every coach around the league wished he could have. He was tenacious on defense, a leader in the locker room and clutch while shooting the basketball. He was about as fundamental a shooting guard as you were going to get.
He never needed the spotlight, nor did he crave it. He would go on to help the Raptors achieve their first division championship in 2007, although, he probably didn't get enough credit for the role he played on that team.
Career statistics: 299 games, 8.2 points, 57.5 percent from the field, 71.6 percent from the free-throw line, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists
- 10th in games (299)
- Fourth in offensive rebounds (719) and seventh in defensive rebounds (1156)
- Sixth in rebounds (1875)
- Sixth in blocks (333)
- First in field-goal percentage (57.5)
- First in true shooting percentage (60.7)
- Third in offensive rating (118.3)
The 2012-13 regular season really brought to light just how important Amir Johnson is to the Raptors.
His five-year, $34 million contract doesn't seem so ludicrous now, does it?
It's almost hard to fathom the fact that Johnson is just 26 years old and has played for the team for only four seasons. It feels a lot longer than that.
On Aug. 18, 2009, Johnson was traded to the Raptors along with Sonny Weems from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Carlos Delfino and Roko Ukic.
With as many forwards as the Raptors had during his initial few seasons with the team, it was hard for Johnson to really hit the ground running and establish a consistent role.
He's had more of an opportunity in recent years to play significant minutes, and now, he has his feet firmly planted in the rotation. Regardless of whether he's coming off the bench or starting each game, the time will be there to help contribute.
Without sounding like I'm inflating his ego, it really is hard to find much not to like with Amir Johnson. Off the court, he's very approachable and one of the more pleasant people you could ever be around.
On the court, he's a terrific teammate with the will inside to get better. He even added a more consistent jump shot to his arsenal last season, just so he could keep defenses honest and throw a wrench in their game plans.
Career statistics: 177 games, 16.2 points, 43.1 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point range, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists
- 10th in free throws (647) and free-throw attempts (787)
- Fourth in points per game (16.2)
Jalen Rose joined the Toronto Raptors in December 2003 via a blockbuster trade that sent Antonio Davis to the Chicago Bulls.
Things were looking good right out of the gate. The team won its first five games with Rose on the roster and everyone was smiling from ear to ear.
Then reality set in. The 2003-04 Raptors would finish the season with a 33-49 record, although Rose himself had quite the productive second half, averaging 16.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
That was the problem with those Raptors teams. Rose would play fantastic basketball, but since they were so awful and not winning games, no one took notice and his numbers would go very much under the radar.
He wasn't a particularly good defender, but he was extremely clutch as an offensive weapon and could be counted on late in games to take big shots.
Rose's swagger was contagious and almost endearing. Even through rough stretches of the season, he would maintain his confidence and continue to persevere.
On Feb. 3, 2006, Rose was dealt to the New York Knicks for Antonio Davis, the same player he was originally traded to Toronto for in the first place. Everything had come full circle.
Career statistics: 180 games, 7.9 points, 49.7 percent from the field, 62.6 from the free-throw line, 7.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists
- Sixth in offensive rebounds (466)
- 10th in rebounds (1268)
- 10th in steals (231)
- Third in defensive rating (101.7)
Welcome to the junkyard.
Jerome "Junkyard Dog" Williams defined passion. Every time you watched him out on the court, you felt good inside. He wore his heart on his sleeve and played up to the crowd every chance he had. The fans ate it up.
Upon being traded to the Raptors in February 2001, Williams would spend the night driving from Detroit to Toronto just so he could participate in the morning shootaround. That's unheard of.
He was the ultimate role player. If the ball was bouncing off the back of the rim, you'd better believe that Williams was going to scratch and claw his way up to grab it. No rebound was ever out of reach.
Even while on the bench, you'd see Williams jumping up and down, cheering on his teammates and providing moral support. That's the kind of man he was. All for one and one for all.
He wasn't the greatest athlete on the planet, but the hustle and determination he showed on a nightly basis made you think otherwise. He had an engine that wouldn't stop.
There were even stories that after being dealt to the Chicago Bulls in 2003-04, Williams would continue to wear his Raptors gear underneath his Bulls jersey. How's that for dedication?
To this day, Williams remains an active member of the Toronto community, working with local organizations around the city
Career statistics: 131 games, 13.8 points, 45.7 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three-point range, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists
- Eighth in three-point field goals (271)
- Fifth in three-point shooting percentage (41.0)
- Third in rebounds per game (8.7)
- Third in Player Efficiency Rating (19.8)
- Second in defensive rating (99.7)
You can make an argument for other players, but in the minds of many, Donyell Marshall is the greatest sixth man in team history.
That's a lot of praise for someone who only came off the pine for one season.
Starting 66 games in 2003-04, Marshall would average a double-double of 16.2 points and 10.7 rebounds, becoming one of only three Raptors ever to accomplish that feat over the course of a season.
He was demoted to the bench the following season so new pieces could be shuffled around in the starting lineup, but that didn't halt his production one bit.
Marshall averaged 11.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in a reserve role, which equated to 16.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes.
On March 13, 2005, in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Marshall would tie the NBA record (Kobe Bryant vs. Seattle SuperSonics, 2003) for most three-pointers in a game with 12. What made the feat more impressive was that he came off of the bench to pull it off.
Leaving Marshall open in the corner was a big no-no. He could hit shots from anywhere on the court, averaging 41.0 percent from three-point range in his two seasons as a Raptor.
Career statistics: 304 games, 15.2 points, 45.3 percent from the field, 81.1 percent from the free-throw line, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assist
- Ninth in games (304) and minutes (9734)
- Fifth in free throws (1098)
- Sixth in points (4611) and seventh in points per game (15.2)
That was DeMar DeRozan's first tweet after being selected by the Toronto Raptors ninth overall in the 2009 NBA draft. The beautiful thing about that pick was that a majority of fans seemed to be accepting and perfectly content with it. There hadn't been a universally praised selection made by Toronto since Chris Bosh was taken back in 2004.
From his rookie to sophomore season, DeRozan saw his scoring increase from a minuscule 8.6 points to 17.2 in just one year.
He was never going to be as big a star as Vince Carter, or as great a scorer as Kobe Bryant, who was someone former GM Bryan Colangelo believed he could compare to based on his early work in the NBA.
DeRozan is a completely serviceable option at the shooting guard position who can shoot from mid-range, attack the basket and guard multiple positions.
He has the potential to be an All-Star in this league, and at only 23 years old, he has plenty of time to eventually become one. Whether he can reach that level or not remains to be seen.
Also, I think it's safe to say that DeRozan was robbed during the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk contest. "Show stopper," anyone?
Career statistics: 208 games, 7.9 points, 40.6 percent from the field, 81.3 percent from the free-throw line, 8.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists
- Seventh in rebounds (1655) and fourth in rebounds per game (8.0)
- 10th in assists (685)
- Fourth in defensive rating (102.3)
- 30 double-doubles
Oakley was to the Toronto Raptors what Wendel Clark was to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He was an enforcer and locker room leader who held his teammates—especially the younger ones—accountable during practices and off the court.
When it was time to play, Oakley was the guy who had everyone's back and wasn't afraid to show it when the moment called for him to speak up or act out.
Sure, he brought value as a basketball player with his rebounding and interior presence, but what fans didn't necessarily see a lot of, behind the scenes is where Oakley truly left his mark.
Charles Oakley was one of a kind. It was never about putting up 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds a night. He was just a small cog in something much bigger in Toronto, and he understood that. He was there to lead by example, hand the keys over to the young guns and help push the team toward a playoff berth.
Career statistics: 314 games, 14.2 points, 41.4 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from three-point range, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists
- Seventh in games (314) and minutes (10916)
- Fifth in three-point field goals (431)
- Seventh in points (4448)
- Eighth in rebounds (1448) and fifth in assists (1197)
- First in steals (664) and steals per game (2.1)
Fifth in defensive win shares (9.7
Doug Christie was one of the more difficult players to rank on this list. The No. 10 spot seems like as good a placement as any.
Christie wasn't overly popular or memorable during his time in Toronto, but boy, was he effective. He was versatile as a combo guard who could play at either the 1 or 2 spot.
His skill on the defensive end was second to none. Getting the ball out of his opponent's grasp was a natural thing to do. Christie had amazing hands that would constantly pester the offense into turning over the basketball.
His 664 total steals and average of 2.1 steals per game are both team records.
In 1996-97, Christie was one of only four players (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Mookie Blaylock) to finish the season with at least 400 rebounds, 300 assists, 100 steals and 100 three-pointers. That's some pretty good company. It eventually earned him a seven-year, $22 million extension with the Raptors.
At the end of the 1999-2000 season, Christie was traded to the Sacramento Kings for Corliss Williamson.
Career statistics: 433 games, 15.2 points, 43.7 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from three-point range, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists
- Fourth in games (433) and fifth in minutes (13130)
- Third in field goals (2419) and second in three-point field goals (579)
- Third in points (6581)
- Third in rebounds (2095)
- Fourth in blocks (382)
- Member of NBA All-Rookie First Team (2007)
Has there ever been a more polarizing figure in franchise history? When Andrea Bargnani was on his game, he was really, really good. When he wasn't, he would stink up the joint.
Never before had the Raptors selected first overall in the NBA draft. That all changed in 2006 when the team picked 7'0" center Andrea Bargnani out of Italy.
The Dirk Nowitzki comparisons came out in full force. Here was another European big-man prospect with some range shooting the basketball. As a No. 1 pick, the hype and expectations were going to be there, regardless.
Scoring was never an issue. From 2008 through 2011, Bargnani would average 15.4, 17.2 and 21.4 points. Offense was his forte, but that wasn't enough. Dubbed the franchise player after Chris Bosh split for warmer temperatures in 2010, Bargnani never truly embraced the idea of being a leader or the man to take this team to the promised land.
His personality wasn't suited for it. He had a very quiet demeanor and rarely showed any emotion while playing. Bargnani was the wrong guy for the job.
On July 10, 2013, Bargnani was officially dealt to the New York Knicks for a package that included Steve Novak, former Raptor Marcus Camby and three draft picks. It was long overdue. The tolerance wasn't there anymore.
He ranks as high as he does on this list due to his tenure with the team, the numbers he put up over the years (see above) and his overall skill level. No one can deny his talent; however, it just wasn't showcased enough for the fans to fully invest themselves in him.
Career statistics: 192 games, 11.1 points, 44.8 percent from the field, 28.4 percent from three-point range, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists
- Seventh in offensive rebounds (413)
- Third in blocks per game (1.4)
- Fourth in Player Efficiency Rating (19.5)
- Only player in NBA history with two seasons with a Player Efficiency Rating of at least 20.0 before the age of 21
What if Tracy McGrady had stayed with the Toronto Raptors for more than three seasons? What if he and his cousin Vince Carter had committed to the franchise together to form one of the most exciting duos the league had ever seen?
Through no fault of anyone, none of that came into fruition. In his mind, McGrady had outgrown the team and was ready to take what he had learned in Toronto to achieve greatness elsewhere, which he eventually did in Orlando and Houston.
The game came easy to McGrady. He was a natural scorer with unparalleled athletic gifts. Even as a rookie just entering the league out of high school, you got the sense that he was going to be something really special.
He was very young and naive during that time. He was only 21 years old when he asked for a trade to the Orlando Magic in 2000.
In retrospect, he made the right decision for his career. He went on to make a ton of money elsewhere and become a household name in the NBA.
Still, it's hard to not ask that million dollar question.
Career statistics: 542 games, 12.0 points, 42.1 percent from the field, 37.1 percent from three-point range, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
- First in games (542) and second in minutes (16059)
- First in three-point field goals (801)
- Fourth in points (6498)
- Fifth in rebounds (2064)
- Second in steals (552)
- Member of All-NBA Rookie First Team (2001)
Morris Peterson is the "Iron Man" of the Toronto Raptors, having not only played the most games for the team (542), but the most consecutive games (371) as well. He never missed a game from Feb. 12, 2002, through Nov. 20, 2006.
His biggest asset to the team was his durability. During a time period when many of his teammates were going down left and right with injuries, Peterson was the one constant who could always be relied on to stay healthy and fill in when needed.
That's not to say that he wasn't contributing in other areas. He could defend the perimeter, hit three-pointers and swipe the ball with his quick hands. He had a great mind for defense and how to always keep his man in front of him.
His array of circus shots are stuff of legends. Whether it was throwing the ball up while facing the opposite direction of the basket, or having his headband fall down his face and act as a blindfold, Peterson was no stranger to making the impossible possible.
For a closer look at just how much Mo-Pete meant to the Toronto Raptors, here's a video tribute played prior to tipoff upon his return to the ACC as a member of the New Orleans Hornets.
Ah, the memories.
Career statistics: 310 games, 12.9 points, 42.6 percent from the field, 77.0 percent from the free-throw line, 9.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists
- Eighth in games (310) and eighth in minutes (10809)
- Fourth in free throws (1156) and third in free-throw attempts (1501)
- Eighth in points (3994)
- Second in rebounds (2839) and second in offensive rebounds (957)
- Third in blocks (405)
- Third in defensive win shares (11.1)
- NBA All-Star (2001)
Antonio Davis is one of only three players in franchise history—Vince Carter and Chris Bosh being the other two—to ever be named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Coming to Toronto was rejuvenating for Davis' career. He was beginning to fall out of favor in Indiana, so being traded to the Raptors in a draft-day deal for Jonathan Bender—who never amounted to anything in the NBA—back in 2000 was an opportunity for him to get a fresh start.
He was brought in to be a leader to his younger teammates, providing a veteran voice in the locker room with years of experience on his resume.
During an important 14-game stretch near the end of the 2001-02 season, Davis would help guide the Raptors to a 12-2 record with star player Vince Carter out of action. That final push helped the team secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and one of the final few playoff spots. Over that span, Davis would average over 18 points, eight rebounds and one block per game.
At the midway point of the 2003-04 season, Davis was traded with Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies to the Chicago Bulls for Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall and Lonny Baxter. After a brief run with the New York Knicks, Davis would find his way back to Toronto in 2005-06 before retiring for good with a back injury.
Is Antonio Davis the greatest center the Toronto Raptors have ever had? You'll find few who think otherwise.
Career statistics: 417 games, 9.3 points, 41.9 percent from the field, 76.5 percent from the free-throw line, 2.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists
- Fifth in games (417)
- Sixth in minutes (11736)
- Second in assists (1791) and fifth in assists per game (4.3)
- Fourth in steals (517) and sixth in steals per game (1.2)
Toronto fans love their players who exude toughness night in and night out. That could be the hockey mentality sinking in, but it's truly the case. If you can show that you're busting your tail and working as hard as you can to succeed, you will immediately win over the masses.
During the late '90s and early 2000s, Alvin Williams did just that for the Raptors.
As an incoming piece in the trade that sent Damon Stoudamire to the Portland Trail Blazers, "Boogie" Williams had to work his way up the hard way. Nothing was going to be given to him, at least from an adulation standpoint from the fanbase.
Over the years, Williams would earn his keep. He would play hurt, make scrappy plays and continuously improve his game.
During the final game of a best-of-five series with the New York Knicks in the 2001 NBA playoffs, Williams would hit arguably the biggest shot of not only his career, but in the history of the franchise. With 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Toronto holding on to an 87-83 lead, Williams would nail a jumper from just inside the three-point line to put away the Knicks for good.
He would average 17 points, four assists and three rebounds over the course of the series.
Injuries eventually caught up with Williams, cutting his career short. He would return to the Raptors in 2009 as an assistant coach and eventually the team's director of player development.
Career averages: 525 games, 10.0 points, 48.1 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three-point range, 2.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists
- Second in games (525) and fourth in minutes (14909)
- Fifth in points (5235)
- Fourth in three-point field goals (456)
- First in assists (3770) and tied for second in assists per game (7.2)
- First in free-throw percentage (87.7)
- Second in offensive rating (118.3)
It's happening, ladies and gentlemen. Jose Calderon is one of the five greatest Toronto Raptors of all-time. Who would have guessed it?
If you look up "point guard controversy" in the NBA handbook, you will find a picture of Calderon. Jarrett Jack, T.J. Ford and Kyle Lowry all faced that dilemma with "numero ocho" on the roster.
You loved having Calderon as your backup point guard, but as soon as he entered the starting lineup, he would play so well that you'd start having legitimate doubts about your No. 1 option.
He never looked for his own offense first. He took pride in his ability to pass the basketball and get his teammates open looks.
Even when he was looking to create his own shot, you would have total faith in him to score because he was such an exceptional shooter. Over his career, Calderon is shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 39.9 percent from three-point range and 87.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Calderon was sent to the Detroit Pistons in a three-team trade this past season. He would later go on to sign a four-year, $28 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
He may be gone from Toronto, but he will never be forgotten. The "Uno Dos Tres" three-point hand gesture will continue to be raised for years to come.
Career averages: 200 games, 19.6 points, 41.5 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three-point range, 4.1 rebounds, 8.8 assists
- Third in points per game (19.6)
- Third in assists (1761) and first in assists per game (8.8)
- First draft pick in Raptors history (seventh overall, 1995)
- Winner of 1996 NBA Rookie of the Year
- Member of All-NBA Rookie First Team (1996)
"Here I come to save the day" — Mighty Mouse.
Damon "Mighty Mouse" Stoudamire was the first player ever drafted by the Toronto Raptors (1995) and the first player of notoriety the franchise ever had.
The 1995 NBA draft took place within the confines of the Toronto SkyDome (now known as "The Rogers Centre"). Nearly 20,000 Torontonians packed the house to see who GM Isiah Thomas would take with the seventh pick. To the dismay of many, 5'10" point guard Damon Stoudamire out of the University of Arizona was selected instead of UCLA forward Ed O'Bannon, whom the crowd clearly wanted.
From the moment he stepped on the court for the first time, Stoudamire had something to prove. He showed the city of Toronto just how valuable a piece he was, and that he was someone the team could lean on for years and years.
A 26-point, 11-assist showing against the New Jersey Nets in his very first game was proof in the pudding.
In arguably the biggest—or at the very least, most special—regular-season victory the team has ever had, Stoudamire would score 30 points and dish out 11 assists in a monumental 109-108 victory over Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1996.
On Feb. 13, 1998, Stoudamire was traded by the Raptors along with Walt Williams and Carlos Rogers to the Portland Trail Blazers for Alvin Williams, Kenny Anderson, Gary Trent and two first-round draft picks.
His career was never the same after leaving Toronto. Fans can forever take solace in the fact that Stoudamire played his best years while wearing purple and black.
Career averages: 509 games, 20.2 points, 49.2 percent from the field, 79.6 percent from the free-throw line, 9.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists
- Third in games (509)
- First in points (10275) and second in points per game (20.2)
- First in rebounds (4776)
- First in blocks (600)
- First in offensive win shares (42.7), defensive win shares (19.1) and win shares (61.8)
- Five NBA All-Star appearances (2006-2010)
- Member of All-NBA Second Team (2007)
In all fairness, a case can be made for Chris "CB4" Bosh in being the greatest Toronto Raptor of all time. It would almost seem easier to have a 1A-1B type of situation, but for now, Bosh will sit at No. 2.
He was never the prototypical franchise player. Taken fourth overall in the 2003 NBA draft—widely considered as one of the most star-studded in league history—Bosh would push himself to be as good or better than those who were drafted around him (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade).
As far as individual success is concerned, Bosh was slowly approaching the notoriety of his draft colleagues. He could never quite get his team over the hump in the postseason—the Raptors never got past the first round with Bosh as their leader—like his counterparts could, but he was still making a name for himself around NBA circles.
His records speak for themselves. Bosh is the all-time leader in points, rebounds (both offensive and defensive), blocks, minutes, field goals, free throws, free-throw attempts and win shares (both offensive and defensive) for the Toronto Raptors.
Even with all of that, fans never fully embraced the idea of Bosh being "the guy," or didn't want to acknowledge the fact that he was.
His effort (for the most part) was always there, and he did the best with what he was presented. Sure, on a championship team like the Miami Heat, Bosh would only be the second or third option on offense. In Toronto, he was given the metaphorical ball and ran with it as far as humanly possible.
Make fun of him all you want. He left Toronto in a hurry to go join Wade and James in South Beach during the summer of 2010. You're allowed to resent him for it, but we'd all do the same.
If not for the No. 1 entrant on this list, Bosh would hands down be the greatest Toronto Raptor ever, and there would be nothing wrong with that.
Career averages: 403 games, 23.4 points, 44.6 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from three-point range, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists
- Second in points (9420) and first in points per game (23.4)
- Fourth in rebounds (2091) and fourth in assists (1553)
- Third in steals (534) and second in blocks (415)
- First in Player Efficiency Rating (21.1)
- Winner of the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk competition
- Winner of the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year award
- Member of All-NBA Second Team (2001) and All-NBA Third Team (2000)
- Five NBA All-Star appearances (2000-2004)
"Half Man, Half Amazing." "Vinsanity." "Air Canada" Carter.
Love him or hate him, Vince Carter is simply the greatest Toronto Raptor of all time.
Looking back at his accomplishments (listed above), you can get the sense for just how important Carter was to this franchise.
He brought the team respect and made non-Canadian fans care enough to want to watch them play basketball. Carter was an attraction that helped put butts in seats and viewers in front of their television screens to see him perform.
Carter would score a combined 59 points in the closing games of the Raptors' only playoff series win in franchise history, helping knock off the New York Knicks in Games 4 and 5 back in 2001. He even got the team to within one shot of the Eastern Conference Finals in the following series against Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, in the minds of many Raptors fans, the bad will always outweigh the good. His departure from the team left a sour taste in the mouths of many. Booing Carter has almost become a rite of passage every time he returns to the Air Canada Centre.
Did he admit to not being motivated during his final years? Yes, he did. Did he occasionally feign injury to keep himself out of the lineup? Absolutely. Was the trade that sent him to the New Jersey Nets completely lopsided in favor of the other team? You better believe it.
You'd think the fanbase would be over it by now. It's been almost 10 years. That's not the case.
Booing is overrated. Maybe it's time people start looking at Vince Carter for the positives he brought and perhaps—although it may sound crazy—cheer him the next time he's in town.
He's the best we've ever had. Period.