ESPN has ranked the Toronto Raptors All-Time starting five, and they surprisingly got it right.
ESPN and hot takes, or ESPN and lists, ESPN and… actually you get the point. ESPN has released a brand new All-Time Starting Five for every team in the NBA, including the Toronto Raptors. These are usually always controversial or just straight up wrong, but this time around ESPN’s experts got it right.
Here is the team below:
Honestly, these are probably the team’s best players in history, especially when you consider the longevity of some of these players. We’ll go through their accomplishments.
Point Guard: Kyle Lowry
The case for Kyle Lowry is pretty easy and I don’t think there is really anyone else you can even argue in this case. Kyle Lowry is clearly the best point guard ever to wear a Toronto Raptors uniform, and he’s also proved himself as a Hall of Famer in Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors, scoring the team’s first 11 points.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: 6x NBA All-Star, All-NBA third team, NBA Champion
Shooting Guard: DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan remembered for two things in Toronto. He embraced the city like no other player ever will, and he failed to perform on the biggest stage — he was also the centerpiece for one of the best trades ever but we won’t count that. Nonetheless, DeRozan was still a really good player for the Toronto Raptors. He is Toronto’s leader in points and minutes played and will never be forgotten for his loyalty which is something that was more impressive than his stats.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: 4x NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second Team, All-NBA Third Team
Small Forward: Vince Carter
Although DeRozan made the Toronto Raptors a relevant team again, Vince Carter was the first player to actually put them on the radar. His dunking alone made him one of the most entertaining players to watch for the Toronto Raptors and the NBA. Despite his lack of playoff success, like DeMar DeRozan, he was an icon for the city of Toronto, especially when they were trying to not be the laughing stock of the NBA. So as bad as the ending was for Toronto and Vince, we have to thank him for making the Toronto Raptors a team to watch out for.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: 5x NBA All-Star, NBA Rookie of the Year, All-NBA Second Team, All-NBA Third Team
Power Forward: Kawhi Leonard
Look, Kawhi Leonard may have played only one season for the Toronto Raptors, but it was a championship season. If it wasn’t for Kawhi Leonard, who knows when the Toronto Raptors would’ve won their first championship ever. Although the Raptors were fine without him in the regular season, — they were 19-4 without him, ridiculous — he showed up when they needed him most, in the playoffs. His most impressive series will forever be the one against the Sixers where he pretty much single-handedly carried the Raptors.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, NBA Finals MVP, NBA Championship
Center: Chris Bosh
When Vince Carter left, the attention would slowly turn to their new young player, Chris Bosh. Bosh didn’t really leave all that great an impact for the Toronto Raptors. Yes, he was a great player to have but he is the most forgetful player here. In seven seasons with Toronto, he only made the playoffs twice and they were both first-round eliminations. He also left in a really bad way, giving Toronto nothing and leaving them in free agency for Miami. So he may be the best Power Forward/Center here in terms of longevity and his five all-star selections, however, other than that, there isn’t much Toronto remember him for.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: 5x NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second Team
Sixth Man: Pascal Siakam
We can be pretty sure that in the near future if all goes well, that Siakam will ultimately make this team. He is an All-Star and is only going to get better as a player. So since there is no six-man on this list. I will make my own. Pascal Siakam is on the list. He was the lite version of Scottie Pippen to Kawhi Leonard in last year’s playoff run, and this year he has gotten even better. With a few more years, there is no doubt that he’ll make the starting lineup.
- Accolades as a Toronto Raptor: NBA All-Star, Most-Improved Player, NBA Champion
Next: Reviewing the Vince Carter versus Allen Iverson Battle
The Toronto Raptors are still a very young team when compared to the Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers… But they still have a pretty good team assembled. All their really missing is an MVP award in all this mix to be complete.