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Chase's Lists: The Five Best Players to Leave Toronto the Toronto Raptors

BEIJING - AUGUST 24:  Chris Bosh #12 of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal game 118-107 over Spain during Day 16 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium on August 24, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Chase RuttigCorrespondent IJune 11, 2009

While the NBA Finals and NBA Draft are grabbing all the headlines in the basketball world, the possible departure of Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh may end up becoming one of the biggest offseason stories. He stated he will not re-sign with the team and is likely on the outs.

This continues a long standing tradition of Toronto's star players leaving stateside. Here are the top five:

 

5. Marcus Camby

Camby was basically a role player during his days in Toronto, but later in his career became one of the NBA's best defensive players. He is something the Raptors would love to have now.

 

4. Chauncey Billups

While Chauncey Billups was still a combo guard who appeared as if he could not fit in the NBA when he played for the Raptors, his departure is one of the "what if" moments in Toronto Raptors sports history.

Chauncey of course went on to become Mr. Big Shot and led the dominating Pistons' teams that etched their spot in the East Finals for a majority of the decade.

 

3. Damon Stoudamire

Stoudamire was the Raptors first star and won the Rookie of the Year award in the Raptors inaugural year. But things turned sour quick and he soon forced a trade out of Toronto. He ended up in Portland, where he was a key on the "Jail Blazers" squads that were oh so close to making the NBA Finals.

One can only imagine if things would have been different if he was still around during the three straight seasons the Raptors went to the playoffs with Vince Carter as their leader.

 

2. Tracy McGrady

This is one of those "there can only be one" kind of trades. Since Vince Carter was also a small forward, McGrady was left out of the starting rotation. McGrady and Carter dazzled fans in Toronto, but his departure did not cause any outrage, likely because the Raptors were experiencing playoff success.

McGrady went on to becoming a star with the Magic, but playoff failure and injuries have kept him out of the spotlight in recent years. But Raptor fans would probably say they should have kept T-Mac over Carter.

 

1. Vince Carter

Vince Carter went from being a Canadian hero(despite being from the U.S.) and a fan favorite to being Public Enemy No. 1 during his tenure in Toronto.

The beginning was great, with Carter and his high flying style bringing the Raptors into the American spotlight and also getting them into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

However, it wasn't long before warning signs appeared in the marriage between Carter and Toronto. Carter attended his North Carolina graduation ceremony before Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Sixers. He performed poorly and missed the game winner at the buzzer.

Then the "soft" injuries started coming, gaining no favour in the hockey town of Toronto, earning him the nickname Wince Carter. Quickly it appeared like Carter was becoming more of a hindrance than a help.

This escalated quickly into Vince refusing to play, essentially forcing the Raptors hand. He was traded for nothing to the Nets and the Raptors franchise went back to square one.

The question is will the Raptors refuse the trend and keep Bosh, or will they wise up and trade him for some value before he breaks the hearts of the country and Raptors fans everywhere?

 

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