This Week in Toronto Raptors History: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and other franchise legends debut | NBA.com Canada

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Some of the greatest players in Toronto Raptors history made their franchise debuts in the last week of October.

Among them: Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry, both of whom are still with the team, as well as DeMar DeRozan, Chris Bosh, Tracy McGrady and Jonas Valanciunas.

Here’s when each one of them made their debuts and how they played.

Pascal Siakam

Date: Oct. 26, 2016

Opponent: Detroit Pistons

Stat line: 4 points (2-2 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT), 9 rebounds, 1 steal in 21 minutes

The No. 27 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Siakam played and started in his first-ever NBA game.

In 21 minutes of action, Siakam scored four points and pulled down nine rebounds in a commanding 18-point win for the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with a game-high 40 points, followed by Jonas Valanciunas, who chipped in with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

“He had nine rebounds and like I said, ‘Just play hard, son, run the floor’ and that’s what he did,” former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said of Siakam in his debut. “He only had four points but I thought his activity was a positive.”

Siakam went on to average 4.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game in his rookie season. He appeared in 55 games with the Raptors, 38 of which he started in.

Siakam also spent some time in the D-League with the Raptors 905 as a rookie. He helped the 905 win their first D-League championship, taking home Finals MVP along the way.

DeMar DeRozan

Date: Oct. 28, 2009

Opponent: Cleveland Cavaliers

Stats: 8 points (3-6 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block in 23 minutes

There’s something poetic about DeRozan’s first game coming against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

James recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome big performances from Andrea Bargnani (28 points) and Chris Bosh (21 points, 16 rebounds).

As for DeRozan, he made an impact in limited minutes, coming up with eight points, five rebounds and an assist.

DeRozan started in 65 of the 77 games he played in as a rookie, posting 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game. He missed out on both All-Rookie Teams but became an All-Star by his fifth season with the Raptors.

Chris Bosh

Date: Oct. 29, 2003

Opponent: New Jersey Nets

Stats: 11 points (5-8 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-1 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 blocks in 24 minutes

Bosh showed some of the potential that made him the No. 4 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft in his debut.

In 24 minutes off the bench, Bosh contributed with 11 points, four rebounds and two blocks, making him the team’s third-leading scorer, fourth-leading rebounder and leading shot blocker. The only Raptors who outscored Bosh were Antonio Davis, who scored 12 points in 41 minutes of play, and Vince Carter, who dominated with a game-high 39 points.

The three of them powered the Raptors to a 90-87 victory over a Nets team Carter would be traded to the following season.

That was the start of an impressive rookie season for Bosh, who averaged 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over 75 games. He made the All-Rookie First Team alongside Kirk Hinrich, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

Kyle Lowry

Date: Oct. 31, 2012

Opponent: Indiana Pacers

Stats: 21 points (6-11 FG, 2-3 3PT, 7-7 FT), 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals in 36 minutes

Lowry made quite a first impression with the Raptors.

Acquired from the Houston Rockets in the offseason, Lowry did a little bit of everything in his debut with the Raptors to the tune of 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals. According to Stathead, Lowry’s five steals tied him with Alvin Robertson for the most ever by a Raptor in their debut with the franchise.

Unfortunately for Lowry, it wasn’t quite enough – David West led a fourth-quarter comeback for the Pacers by scoring 14 of his game-high 25 points in the final period.

Based on Basketball Reference’s Game Score, which gives “a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game,” Lowry’s debut was the fourth-most productive game of his first season with the Raptors.

In the years since, Lowry has established himself as arguably the greatest player in franchise history.

Jonas Valanciunas

Date: Oct. 31, 2012

Opponent: Indiana Pacers

Stats: 12 points (6-15 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT) 10 rebounds, 1 block in 23 minutes

Valanciunas made his Raptors debut in the same game that Lowry did.

The No. 5 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Valanciunas started at centre for the Raptors and recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double in only 23 minutes of play.

Valanciunas started in all but five games he played in his rookie campaign. He averaged 8.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, numbers that earned him a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team alongside Kyle Singler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond and Tyler Zeller.

Valanciunas made a mark in six and a half seasons with the Raptors, ranking sixth in games played, seventh in points scored and second in rebounds in franchise history.

Tracy McGrady

Date: Oct. 31, 1997

Opponent: Miami Heat

Stats: 0 points (0-0 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-0 FT), 1 rebound, 1 turnover in 6 minutes

Drafted out of high school with the No. 9 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, McGrady logged only six minutes in his Raptors debut.

Minutes were hard to come by for McGrady at the start of his rookie season, but he ended up averaging 18.4 minutes per game by the season’s end. His numbers in those minutes? 7.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.

McGrady improved greatly in his second and third season with the Raptors and established himself as an All-Star in only his fourth season as a member of the Orlando Magic.

In 2017, McGrady was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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