Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years; but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league attendance records and made the NBA Playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress and he was traded in 2004.
After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader, but they continued to struggle. However, with the appointment of Bryan Colangelo as General Manager and a revamp of the roster for the 2006–07 season, they qualified for their first playoff berth in five years and captured their first division title. In the following season, they advanced to the playoffs again.
But Carter and Bosh alone do not define the Raptors' Franchise. And so, in honor of the 15-year anniversary of the Toronto Raptors, let's count down the top 10 players to ever wear the Raptors uniform.
Jalen Rose --- 2003-2006
Keon Clark --- 2001-2002
Doug Christie --- 1996-2000
Charles Oakley --- 1998-2001
Dell Curry --- 1999-2002
Anthony Parker --- 2006-2009
Jerome Williams --- 2001-2003
Marcus Camby drafted 2nd overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 1996 NBA Draft. Although only spending two seasons with the Raptors he made sure he was heard. Averaging 14.8 points per game, racking up 6 rebounds a game, and two blocks in his rookie season, he showed why he belonged in the league.
In his sophomore He put up 12.1 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game, 3 blocks a game, and almost 2 assist. He had some troubles off the court with marijuana possession. He was traded to the Knicks in 1998 for Charles Oakley.
Uno, Dos, Tres! Jose Calderon currently the starting point guard of the Raptors. The 6-3 Spaniard came into the league in 2005 un-drafted, he proved to the raptors that he was a steal. He struggled shooting in his first season in the NBA, but he made up for that with his pass first mentality.
In his third season with the Raptors he stepped up his game for the injured TJ Ford, and he lead the league with Assist per turnover with 5.38. He resigned with the Raptors after the season which meant TJ Ford was expandable. In his first season as a starter he averaged 12.8 points per game, 8.9 assist per game, and almost 3 rebounds a game. He was hampered by an injury. With a well rested summer we are looking for Jose to have a big season!
Boogie played with the raptors from 1998-2005, and only played 57 games in his last 3 seasons with the raptors due to injury. He was acquired from the Trail Blazers for Damon Stoudamire in 1998.
He was in the doghouse for three seasons under Butch Carter and when Lenny Wilkins became the head coach he was given an opportunity to play more. He did not disappoint averaging 9.8 points per game, 5 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 29 minutes of playing time.
The following season he averaged 11.8 points per game, 5.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 36 minutes. He was great in the playoffs against New York Knicks series, hitting a dagger and clinching their first ever series win.
They faced the 76ers in the next round which was a hard fought battle that lasted til the last seconds. Alvin Williams played stellar defense on the offensive force Allen Iverson, getting a few blocks on his jumper. Alvin Williams was known for his heart, desire, and playing 100 percent every game. He is currently an Assistant Coach for the 2009-2010 Toronto Raptors.
You may think this is a little high for this Italian first overall pick, but I am sure this young man will earn this spot. He came in as the first European ever selected with the first pick, and came in compared to the likes of Dirk Nowitzki.
He had a nice rookie seasons but was slowed down in his sophomore season, that offseason the raptors brought in Jermaine O'neal a 6 time all-star.
He started the season coming off the bench but was given a chance to play when Jermaine was out. He averaged 19.8, 17.9 and 20.3 points per game for January, February and March, He made Jermaine O'neal expandable and he was traded for Shawn Marion.
He finished off that season averaging 15.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and assists in 31 minutes. He is now a weapon on offense showing his complete game that includes hitting the outside shot, driving and getting to the line. "Il Mago" has become the player Bryan Colangelo had envisioned.
Drafted out of high school with ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, many people questioned was he ready?
A lanky 6'8" small forward, McGrady had no ceiling, and unlimited upside. In his rookie season he put up seven points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and one block a game in just 18 minutes a game. His numbers slightly improved in his second season. His third and last season with the Raptors he played along with his third cousin Vince Carter. He started about half of the games that he played, and averaged 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and about two blocks a game. He showed people that he can score anywhere on the court, and was a big part of the franchise record wins and their first playoff birth. He was a free agent during the offseason, Vince Carter wanted him to stay, but he wanted to be the man. He was tired of being second to Vince and was tired of being in the shadow. He signed with the Orlando Magic that summer.
Mo Pete spent seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors, being drafted in the mid first round from Michigan State. A mature well rounded player came into a great situation, and was ready to provide. During his time with the raptors he was not known for being a scoring option but was a glue player and energizer.
He became a fan favourite for putting emotion out there on the court and putting all his effort.
He's been with the team through the ups and downs, but he brought his game everyday on the court. He gave the team a little of everything, with his quick catch and shoot from three or sneaking to the hole, or his amazing circus shot.
Morris Peterson will always have Toronto in his heart and so will the Raptors.
First put on the raptors uniform in 1999 when he was acquired from the Indiana Pacers for the fifth pick (Jonathan Bender) in the draft. A veteran brought in to bring front court toughness.
He nearly averaged a double double throughout his career with the Raptors and played huge roles in the season and playoffs.
Starting nearly every game he played he recorded 12.5 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game in his five seasons with the Raptors. In the 2001-2002 season Antonio Davis and the Vince-less Raptors won 12 of the last 14 games of the season and sneaked into the playoffs as the seventh seed. They faced an experienced Pistons squad and challenged them to a Game Five, losing by only three points.
Davis later was traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Jerome Williams for Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall, and Lonny Baxter. He would return to the Raptors in 2006 playing eight games before getting injured, and being released.
"With the seventh pick in the 1995 NBA Draft the Toronto Raptors select Damon Stoudamire from Arizona."
There it was, the Raptors first ever draft pick. Isiah Thomas showed his first GM skills by drafted somebody that he believed reminded of himself. The 5-10 point guard nicknamed "Mighty Mouse" won rookie of the year honors, averaging 19 points, 9.3 assist, four rebounds, and 1.4 steals in 41 minutes a game.
He continued to put consistent ant numbers with 20.2 and 19.4 points per game. He was the first franchise player of the Raptors, even though they had bad seasons they still managed to beat Michael Jordon and the Chicago Bulls in a crowded Skydome (Rogers Centre). He spent three seasons with the Raptors before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Drafted fourth in the 2003 draft. This skinny 6-10, 20-year-old out of Georgia Tech was thrown into the starting lineup at the center position. Day in and out he would be tossed around by bigger man with larger frames, it was a tough situation for this rookie.
Bosh averaged 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and one assists in 33 minutes a game in his first season of the NBA. The following season Vince Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets, the franchise was put onto Chris Bosh's shoulders. The Raptors would miss the playoffs for another two years.
When Bryan Colangelo took over the realm of general manager, Chris Bosh had faith that he could help turn this franchise around therefore he signed a three year extension which will end in 2010. For the first time in five years Chris Bosh lead the Raptors to the playoffs with a 47-35 record, they would face a familiar face, Vince Carter.
The inexperienced raptors would lose the series 2-4. The following year the Raptors once again lead by Chris Bosh made the playoffs, and would face Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. They played hard but lost an interior battle losing the series 1-4.
After missing the playoffs the following season, Chris Bosh worked hard on his body to gain muscle mass, he found himself adding 20 pounds to his frame and now weighs 250 pounds. Expect big things from Chris Bosh this season.
As much as you guys hate him, we all know he is the greatest player to ever wear Raptors across their chest. In 1998, Carter was drafted by the NBA's Golden State Warriors with the fifth overall pick, and then traded to the Toronto Raptors for the fourth overall pick, Antawn Jamison, his college teammate and good friend. Carter's rookie season was the shortened 50-game 1999 season, after the NBA locked out its players in 1998–99. Carter started almost every game for coach Butch Carter, averaged 18.3 points per game (ppg), and eventually won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
The next year, Carter was selected to an All-Star Team for the first time, averaged 25.7 ppg, made the Third Team All-NBA, and showcased his athleticism and dunking abilities in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He won the contest by performing an array of dunks including a 360° windmill, a between the legs bounce dunk, and an elbow in the rim dunk (also known as a cookie jar dunk or the honey dip.
In Carter's first two seasons, he and his distant cousin Tracy McGrady formed a formidable one-two punch as Raptor teammates. The two led the Raptors to their first playoff berth in the 2000 NBA Playoffs, but they were swept in the first round by the New York Knicks, in 3 games.
Upon McGrady's departure to the Orlando Magic the following season, Carter became the Raptors' franchise player. In 2000–01, his third season, Carter averaged a career-high 27.6 ppg. while the Raptors finished the regular season with a franchise-record 47 wins. In the playoffs, the Raptors beat the New York Knicks 3–2 in the first round, and advanced to the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they took the Philadelphia 76ers to a decisive seventh game. On the morning of the day of Game 7, Carter attended his university graduation. In that game, Carter missed a game-winning shot with 2.0 seconds remaining.
The next season was an injury-riddled one for Carter. He started in 60 games and he averaged 24.7 ppg. He was voted into the 2002 NBA All-Star Game, but he could not participate due to injury. The Raptors did not fare well without their All-Star player. The team lost 17 of 18 games to drop to 30–38, then won 12 of their last 14 to finish at 42–40. Carter was injured during the 2002 NBA Playoffs, and his team was defeated in the first round by the Detroit Pistons, in five games. After a few years of struggle Vince Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets.