The Toronto Raptors have been a part of the NBA since 1995, and in that time, they’ve seen some of the league’s most talented players grace the court in the red and black jersey. From high-flying dunkers to gritty defenders, the Raptors have had their fair share of superstars, all of whom have left their mark on the team and the city. But who stands out as the best of the best in Raptors history?
Criteria for the top ten list
Before diving into the list itself, it’s important to establish the criteria used to determine the top ten Raptors players of all time. Here are some factors considered:
- Individual stats and achievements
- Impact on the team’s success
- Longevity with the Raptors
- Cultural impact on the city of Toronto
While these factors are not the only ones that could be considered, they provide a good starting point for evaluating each player’s place in Raptors history.
Doug Christie – a versatile swingman who played for the Raptors from 1996-2000. Christie was a solid scorer and defender who played a key role in the Raptors’ first playoff appearance in 2000.
Fred VanVleet – VanVleet was a key member of the Raptors’ championship-winning team in 2019, playing a pivotal role in their playoff run with his impressive shooting, defense, and leadership. He has also earned a reputation as a clutch performer, consistently delivering in high-pressure situations.
Serge Ibaka – a Congolese power forward who played for the Raptors from 2017-2020. Ibaka was a key contributor off the bench during the team’s championship run in 2019, providing scoring and rim protection in equal measure.
#10: Jonas Valanciunas
Drafted fifth overall by the Raptors in 2011, Valanciunas quickly established himself as a force in the paint, averaging a double-double in both his rookie and sophomore seasons. He was a consistent scorer and rebounder throughout his tenure in Toronto, finishing his Raptors career with averages of 11.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. But Valanciunas’ impact on the Raptors went beyond his individual numbers. He was a key part of the team’s culture, embodying the hard-working, blue-collar ethos that has come to define the franchise.
#9: Antonio Davis
Next up is Antonio Davis, a power forward who played for the Raptors from 1999-2003. Davis was acquired by the Raptors in a trade with the Indiana Pacers and quickly established himself as one of the team’s most important players. He was a rugged defender and rebounder who helped anchor the Raptors’ frontcourt alongside Charles Oakley. Davis was also a solid scorer, averaging 13.7 points per game during his tenure in Toronto. But perhaps Davis’ biggest contribution to the Raptors was his leadership.
#8: Kawhi Leonard
It may seem strange to include Kawhi Leonard on a list of the top ten Raptors players of all time, given that he only played one season with the team. But that one season was arguably the most successful in franchise history, as Leonard led the Raptors to their first-ever NBA championship in 2019. Leonard was nothing short of spectacular during that playoff run, averaging 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while playing lockdown defense on some of the league’s best players. His iconic buzzer-beater in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers will go down as one of the greatest moments in Raptors history.
#7: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh was the face of the Raptors franchise during the mid-2000s, a dynamic power forward who could score from anywhere on the court. Bosh was a consistent All-Star during his time in Toronto, averaging 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game over seven seasons. He was also a solid defender, earning an All-Defensive Second Team selection in 2007. Bosh’s impact on the Raptors was significant, as he helped lead the team to two playoff appearances and was a key part of the team’s identity during his tenure.
#6: Damon Stoudamire
Damon Stoudamire was the Raptors’ first-ever draft pick, selected seventh overall in the 1995 NBA Draft. He quickly established himself as one of the league’s best young point guards, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1996. Stoudamire was a dynamic scorer and playmaker during his time in Toronto, averaging 19.6 points and 8.8 assists per game in his rookie season. He was also a fan favorite, known for his fearless attitude and flashy play.
#5: Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady was only with the Raptors for three seasons, but in that time, he established himself as one of the most electrifying players in franchise history. McGrady was a dynamic scorer and playmaker who could do it all on the court. He averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game during his time in Toronto, earning an All-Star selection in 2001. McGrady’s impact on the Raptors was significant, as he helped establish the team as a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
#4: Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam is the most recent player on this list, but his impact on the Raptors has been significant in a short amount of time. Drafted 27th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, Siakam quickly established himself as a versatile and dynamic player who could impact the game in multiple ways. He was a key part of the Raptors’ championship run in 2019, averaging 19.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game during the playoffs. Siakam’s emergence as a star has been a bright spot for Raptors fans during a tumultuous season in 2020-21, and his future with the team looks bright.
#3: DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is arguably the greatest shooting guard in Raptors history, a dynamic scorer who could take over a game at any moment. DeRozan played for the Raptors for nine seasons, averaging 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game during his tenure. He was a four-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2018. DeRozan’s impact on the Raptors was significant, as he helped lead the team to five straight playoff appearances and was a key part of the team’s identity during his tenure.
#2: Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry was the heart and soul of the Toronto Raptors, a gritty and determined point guard became one of the greatest players in franchise history. Lowry has averaged 17.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game during his Raptors career, earning six All-Star selections and an All-NBA Third Team selection in 2016. But Lowry’s impact on the Raptors goes beyond his individual numbers. He was a leader both on and off the court, and his toughness and tenacity have helped define the team’s culture.
#1: Vince Carter
And finally, we come to the greatest player in Raptors history: Vince Carter. Carter played for the Raptors from 1998-2004 and was the face of the franchise during some of its most successful seasons. He was a dynamic scorer and dunker who could take over a game at any moment. Carter’s impact on the Raptors was significant, as he helped lead the team to three straight playoff appearances from 2000-2002 and was a key part of the team’s identity during his tenure. Carter was a seven-time All-Star during his Raptors career and was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1999.