Toronto Raptors: Top 10 Players of All-Time...For Now

Suraj Sukumar@Sukumar_S87Correspondent IISeptember 20, 2012

Toronto Raptors: Top 10 Players of All-Time...For Now

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    The Toronto Raptors were founded in 1995 and remain one of the NBA's youngest franchises. 

    The Raptors are still young, and while future players may top this list, it will not be happening in the near future.

    Understandably, not all players on this list are statistical giants like some others, but all of these players have played, or will play, a major part in the success of the Toronto Raptors.  

    As this video of Raptors' history suggests, the following players deserve tremendous recognition, not only for being a part of the Raptors' organization, but for building the team's reputation and fanbase for all these years.  

    The history of Raptors basketball is still being written, but here are the Top 10 players who have helped along the way. 

Honorable Mention

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    Tracy McGrady 

    McGrady only played three seasons with the Raptors. In his final season, it became apparent that he wanted to take his talents elsewhere so he didn't have to play in the shadow of his cousin, Vince Carter. If he did stick around, he would fall much higher on this list. 

    Charles Oakley

    Oakley also played just three seasons with the Toronto Raptors. However, he was a major part of two playoff runs, which has become a scarce experience in the recent past. While Oakley was a major part of the Raptors for those two seasons, he did not have a long-term impact on the team. 

    Marcus Camby 

    Camby only played his rookie and sophomore seasons with the Raptors. However, in those two seasons, Camby set career highs in both points and blocks. In his rookie season, Camby averaged 14.8 points with the Raptors. In his sophomore year, Camby averaged 3.7 BPG, which is an amazing feat. Sadly, Camby left for the New York Knicks the following year, limiting his ranking as a top Raptors player of all-time. 

10. DeMar DeRozan

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    Career with Raptors: 222 GP, 14.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.5 APG

    While several other candidates such as Tracy McGrady or Charles Oakley could be considered for this spot, the fact remains that DeMar DeRozan is the player of today and the future. 

    The fact is, most of the other players made their names with other NBA franchises, and it wouldn't be fair to the players who have sacrificed their careers playing in the Great White North. 

    While his skill does not accurately represent some of the other prolific Raptors on this list, DeRozan is still young and making his transition to the NBA. 

    If DeRozan can help lead this team to become an Eastern Conference contender, he will surely go down as one of the best Toronto Raptors of all-time. 

    Thus far, DeRozan has appeared in the Rookie-Sophomore game—as a Sophomore—and also participated in the previous two Slam Dunk competitions. 

    For now, DeRozan remains the player of the future.  With additions such as first-round draft pick Terrence Ross, DeRozan will soon be forced to reach his full potential or risk losing his current position with the Raptors franchise. 

    However, faith in the high-flying youngster should still stand strong, and hopefully, this will be the year he proves he deserves to be on such a list going forward. 

9. Jose Calderon

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    Career with Raptors: 480 GP, 9.9 PPG, 7.2 APG, 2.5 RPG 

    Let's face it, Calderon may be the least favourite Raptors player on this list, but his accomplishments with the franchise should not be ignored. 

    In a time of development, Calderon is one of few Raptors to have playoff experience under his belt, 11 games to be exact. 

    His best season with the Raptors came in 08-09, where he averaged 12.8 PPG, 8.9 APG, 2.9 RPG. 

    Also, Calderon ranks third all-time in games played for the Raptors, only behind Morris Peterson and Chris Bosh

    In addition, Calderon has the most assists all-time as a Raptor with 3,434, and there is no active player even close to this total. 

    That might be his greatest feat as a member of the Toronto Raptors. 

    It's safe to say that Calderon's time as the Raptors point guard has come to an end.  

    Along with end of his contract, the addition of the younger, faster and more skilled Kyle Lowry ensures that Calderon is most likely finished as a Toronto Raptor, at least as the starting point guard. 

    To be completely honest, as the franchise continues to find their way, Calderon may be a forgotten piece a decade down the line. 

    Nevertheless, thank you for the 98 percent free-throw percentage in 08-09 and the seven years of consistently atrocious defense; you will be missed. 

    Not really.

8. Alvin Williams

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    Career with Raptors: 417 GP,  7.3 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.4 RPG 

    Obviously, Alvin Williams did not have stellar statistics as a professional basketball player for the Toronto Raptors. 

    However, as any fan would tell you, Williams was probably one of the most loved and respected Raptors of all-time. 

    He is currently part of the front office as director of player development. 

    Williams was part of one of the most memorable seasons in Raptors history. In 2000-01, the Raptors made it to the second round of the NBA playoffs, only to lose, in heart-wrenching fashion, to the Philadelphia 76ers

    In the 2000-01 playoffs, Williams averaged 13.8 PPG and 4.2 APG while starting all 12 games. The only other players to start all 12 games were Vince Carter, Antonio Davis and Charles Oakley.

    The 2000-01 season will easily, for now, remain the most memorable in Raptors history. It would be difficult to forget such a tragic loss, especially in the fashion it happened. 

    Williams was part of the best days the team has experienced to date, and this is why he deserves to be considered one of the best players in Raptors history.  

7. Andrea Bargnani

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    Career with Raptors: 398 GP, 15.4 PPG, 4.9. RPG, 1.3 APG

    Andrea Bargnani is definitely poised to become one of the Raptors' greatest players, but he does have his work cut out for him. 

    He currently ranks sixth in most games played all-time for the Raptors and will surely be part of the organization for several seasons more.  

    As a seven-footer, Bargnani is far from your typical big man. With a career-high 6.2 rebounds in a signal season, it's safe to assume you will not find Bargnani in the paint boxing out. 

    However, the center or power forward position cannot be taken by someone who averages less than eight rebounds per game because they're simply not playing their position. 

    In Bargnani's case, it seems evident that the opportunity has been granted to play his own game, but to keep allowing him to play his game, he needs to average over 20 PPG. Otherwise, he becomes more of a liability. 

    It would seem smarter to play second round pick Quincy Acy simply based on the defense and high-octane rebounding skills. 

    The Raptors have a problem in playing defense, not scoring, and Bargnani is a big part of their offense. 

    With that said, if Bargnani can improve his defense and average 20-plus points-per-game consistently, he will be poised to become not only one of the greatest Raptors, but a force in the NBA. 

6. Doug Christie

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    Career with Raptors: 369 GP, 12.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.4 APG

    Doug Christie is one of the best all-around basketball players to wear a Raptors jersey. Though his most successful days came with the Sacramento Kings, he had a great career with the Toronto Raptors. 

    The most significant aspect of Christie's game was his defense, and his defensive efforts as a member of the Toronto Raptors were nothing short of spectacular. 

    Christie could be considered the Raptors' best defensive player ever, holding almost every steals record in team history. 

    His career average in steals with the Raptors was 2.1. Alvin Robertson averaged 2.2 while only playing one season, making Christie second on the career average steals list. 

    However, Christie amassed 201 and 190 steals in back-to-back seasons, both first and second on the all-time list for any Raptors player. He amassed nine in one game, the most all-time for a Raptor, and is currently first all-time with 734 career steals in a Raptors uniform.

    Those are some pretty good defensive numbers, especially for a Raptors player. 

    To go along with his steal totals, Christie also had career-highs in rebounds and points while a member of the Raptors.

    While Christie had tremendous success as a member of the Kings, his years with the Raptors were definitely memorable, and he surely deserves to be considered one of the best Raptors of all-time. 

5. Morris Peterson

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    Career with Raptors: 544 GP, 12 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.8 APG

    Morris Peterson gave seven seasons of his NBA career to the Toronto Raptors, and they were unforgettable. 

    Mo-Pete started playing for the Raptors in the 2000-01 season, which has already been discussed as one of the most, if not the most memorable season in Raptors history. 

    To add, Mo-Pete was part of the Bosh era as well, making him one of the longest reigning Raptors to ever wear the jersey. 

    He was primarily known for his three-point shooting, holding the record for most three-point field goals with 801, a feat only Andrea Bargnani may be able to catch. 

    Mo-Pete's 544 games played for the Raptors is the highest all-time of any player. He is also second in minutes played with 16,059, only behind Bosh. 

    If you ask any devout Toronto Raptors fan, Mo-Pete will always be remembered for his efforts on the court and will probably hold most of the three-point shooting records for a long time, making him more than worthy of placing in the top five best Raptors of all-time. 

4. Antonio Davis

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    Career with Raptors: 310 GP, 11.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.6 APG

    If it weren't for Chris Bosh, Antonio Davis would hold every rebounding record on the Toronto Raptors. 

    However, he does hold the single-season record in rebounds for the Raptors with 787.  He was most certainly known for his ability to grab boards, but he's also seventh in all-time scoring with 3994 total points. 

    Very impressive for a big man with his skill-set. 

    Like his teammates, Alvin Williams and Morris Peterson, Davis was part of great runs the Raptors put together in the late-90s and early-2000s.

    Davis also accumulated his personal career-highs with the Raptors in points, assists and rebounds.

    In fact, in over a decade of experience, Davis' best seasons came with the Raptors, even though he played six previous seasons with the Indiana Pacers.

    A  more interesting fact, Davis is the only other player, outside of Bosh and Carter of course, to make the All-star game as a member of the Toronto Raptors. 

    Given the impact Davis had with the Raptors, it is obvious he deserves to be in the top five players of all-time, at least so far.  

3. Damon Stoudamire

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    Career with Raptors: 200 GP, 19.5 PPG, 8.7 APG, 4.2 RPG

    Damon Stoudamire may be the most controversial pick on this list, but for Raptors fans, from the very first tip-off, "Mighty Mouse" will never be forgotten. 

    Simply judging by his statistical output, there wasn't a player until Vince Carter that was able to perform at the level Stoudamire did in his first two seasons. 

    Averaging almost a double-double in his first season, Stoudamire won Rookie of the Year, the first ever for the Toronto Raptors. 

    Stoudamire currently holds the record for career minutes-per-game with 41, ahead of both Bosh and Carter. in his final season and 49 games with the Raptors, he also set a franchise record playing 41.5 minutes. 

    He was the first star Toronto Raptors basketball ever knew. 

    There's something about experiencing the inaugural season of a professional franchise. As a Raptor's fan, it seems Mighty Mouse will never leave the memories of Raptors fans, and this is why he should be considered the third best Raptor of all time. 

    Interestingly, Stoudamire was never able to match his performance with the Toronto Raptors when playing for other teams. 

    The Portland Trail Blazers paid a hefty price for him too. 

2. Chris Bosh

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    Career with Raptors: 509  GP, 20.3 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 2.2 APG

    Chris Bosh may be the best statistical player to ever grace the Toronto Raptors, playing the second-most games of anyone.

    He also played the most minutes of any past Raptors player with 18,813.  

    If it weren't for the accolades of the next candidate, Bosh is easily the best player the Raptors have ever had. 

    If the team was able to provide him with more help, maybe he would have stuck around instead of jumping ship to join Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

    But you can't blame him for wanting a better chance at a championship, which he won within two years of leaving. 

    With that said, it is important to acknowledge the immense sacrifice that Bosh gave to the fans of Toronto and the franchise. Both him and James gave seven years of their lives to teams that couldn't get the right pieces together. 

    On a lighter note, Bosh is a six-time All-Star with the Raptors, the most by any player, and is the only Raptor to ever win the Conference Player of the Month Award. 

    He has the most total points,the most total rebounds, both offensive and defensive, as well as the most total blocks of any past Raptors player. 

    One of his most underrated skills are free throws, which nobody on the Toronto Raptors roster will come close to achieving. 

    There really isn't anything bad to say about Bosh, but maybe fans are still bitter about his departure. 

    Too soon?

1. Vince Carter

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    Career with Raptors: 403 GP, 22.2 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.7 RPG

    Vince Carter had a shaky departure from the Toronto Raptors, but still gave the city of Toronto seven unforgettable seasons.

    Most fans were bitter about these events because the Raptors quite possibly made one of the worst trades in league history

    While Bosh has outdone Carter in many statistical categories, Carter is the best scorer and the most prolific player to ever grace the Toronto Raptors.

    Carter is the only Raptor to ever win a Slam Dunk competition, and did in unforgettable fashion.  

    After the 2000 All-Star weekend, Carter was officially the first elite-level superstar to come out of Toronto. 

    Carter is a five-time NBA All-Star, the all-time Raptors leader in field goals made, second on the all-time scoring list and holds the record for most points scored in a single game with 51. 

    Does everyone remember this dunk from the 2000 Summer Olympics? This was as a member of the Toronto Raptors. 

    Enough said. 

    Even though there were negative moments throughout his time in Toronto, there will never be another Vince Carter in the hearts of Raptors fans.

    Ever.