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The Best Toronto Raptors team ever based on Draft Picks

Jason Mills
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
350   //    Timeless

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game One
Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game One

The Toronto Raptors have been in the NBA since 1995. They have had their ups and downs. They have been horrible and they have been good. They have been very good like they are right now. Like any other team, building, for success, starts at the NBA Draft. The Raptors, like any other team, have been successful some years and failed, in other years, drafting the potential next franchise star. The Toronto Raptors have drafted some great talent and here we will look at the franchise’s best pick at each position including a sixth man. 

This team was decided based on the player’s longevity and productivity, in Toronto. To start, we will give honorable mention to players, like Tracy McGrady. While no one questions his talent and he was drafted, by Toronto, most, of his statistics, were produced, in Orlando and Houston. Andrea Bargnani or Marcus Camby will also not be selected here. The reason being the player chosen ahead of them at center is having more of a positive impact, on the franchise’s fortunes.

Point Guard:

Damon Stoudemire was a 5’10 point guard and the nickname mighty mouse fit this basketball player. In the beginning, of the Raptors franchise, Stoudemire was the inaugural draft pick selected, by the Raptors general manager, Isiah Thomas. Stoudemire led the team from 1995-98 and was the team's number one scoring option for most of his time, in Toronto. He was the rookie of the year in 1996. 

After leaving Toronto, he played for Portland, Memphis, and San Antonio. Stoudemire played 15 seasons in total. While in Toronto, he averaged over 19 points per game and 8 plus assists per game. His career averages 13.4 points per game and 6.1 assists. Stoudemire was traded away from Toronto along, with Walt Williams and Carlos Rogers, for two first-round draft picks, Gary Trent, Kenny Anderson, and Alvin Williams.

Shooting Guard:

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls
Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls

DeMar DeRozan was traded this past summer to the San Antonio Spurs along with Jacob Poeltl and a protected 1st round pick for Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. However, before that, Derozan had been Toronto’s best offensive player during their recent five-year run, of regular season excellence and playoff appearances. He was drafted 9th overall, in 2009, by Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo. 

Since then, every year, DeRozan has gotten better and better. There have been two negatives about his time in Toronto. First, he is a mid-range specialist who excels at drawing fouls. He was not a consistent 3 point threat, with his long-range shooting era. His second problem was inconsistent play, in playoff match-ups. Its hard to look back at the past five Toronto Raptors playoff runs and think DeRozan stood out. At times it was Norman Powell or even Jonas Valanciunas, but not DeRozan, at least not consistently. However, his ability to get to the basket and athleticism helped the Raptors rise, in the Eastern Conference standings, and he is a huge part of the organization recording its three highest win totals, in each, of the last three years (56,51 and 59). 

DeRozan is the current all-time scorer in a Raptors uniform with 13,296 for an average of 19.1 points per game. He is also fourth, in all-time Raptors' rebounders, with 2,739. This puts him ahead of players, like Andrea Bargnani, a center/power forward. DeRozan played nine seasons, with the Raptors and represented the team four times at the All-Star Game.

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Jason Mills
ANALYST
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