Each Team’s All-NBA First Team- A 30 Part Series: Part 4- The Toronto Raptors
G- Kyle Lowry: 2012-Present
Despite having played only four seasons in Toronto, Kyle Lowry has made an impact on the Raptors’ organization that is unprecedented. Lowry has not only produced on the court, but he has also elevated his teammates to the next level. Without Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, and Jonas Valanciunas would not have made the leaps that they have made.
In his four seasons in Toronto, Lowry has led the team to the playoffs three times. Last season he led the team to their first ever Eastern Conference Finals birth- making it past the first round for just the second time in the franchise’s history.
Both of Lowry’s All-Star appearances have come in the last two years as a member of the Raptors, having been voted in as a starter over the likes of Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, and many other prominent Eastern Conference guards. This speaks volumes to how popular the game of basketball has become in the country of Canada, largely in part to Lowry’s production on and off the court.
G- DeMar DeRozan: 2009-Present
Similarly to Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan has impacted the Raptors’ organization on and off the court. In his seven seasons with Toronto, DeRozan has established himself as one of the twenty best players in the league- appearing in two All-Star games during that span, and leading the Raptors’ in scoring.
DeRozan has not only embraced playing in a small market like Toronto, but he has endorsed it, so much so, he turned down the opportunity to play for the Lakers to stay in Toronto.
DeRozan ranks second in points scored, free throws, and minutes played on the Raptors’ all-time leader board. Given his contract and commitment to the organization, DeRozan will likely retire as the team’s all-time leader in a number of categories.
F- Vince Carter: 1998–2004
Vince “Air Canada” Carter, was the original face of the franchise. Before there was Chris Bosh, Kyle Lowry, or DeMar DeRozan, there was Vince Carter. When fans thought of the Raptors they thought of Vince Carter. They thought of his high-flying dunks, explosive finishes at the rim, and his prolific scoring ability. Without Carter professional basketball probably would have failed in the country of Canada.
During his time with the Raptors, Carter established himself as one of the ten best players in the league, leading the team in scoring in all seven of his seasons with the team. His 23.4 points per game with the Raptors is first on the Raptors scoring list. He appeared in five All-Star games with the team, and won an Olympic gold medal in 2000. His most prolific moment as a member of the Raptors was the 2000 dunk contest, where Carter not only won the contest, but he stole the show, throwing down a number of ridiculous dunks.
Despite his success as an individual, Carter and the Raptors only appeared in two postseasons during his seven years in Toronto.
F- Chris Bosh: 2003–2010
Chris Bosh stepped right into the fold as the face of the franchise upon Vince Carter’s departure during the 2004 season, immediately becoming the team’s best all-around player. As a member of the Raptors, Bosh solidified himself as one of the best and most versatile big men in the entire league.
Bosh is the Raptors’ all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and blocks. Five of his 11 All-Star appearances came as a member of the Raptors, alongside an appearance on the All-NBA Second Team in 2007.
Similarly to Vince Carter, despite Bosh’s success as an individual he led the Raptors to a mere two playoff appearances during his seven years in Toronto- but still, it’s hard to hold that against Bosh given the talent around him.
C- Andrea Bargnani: 2006–2013
Although Andrea Bargnani was ultimately a disappointment after being drafted with the first overall pick in 2006, Bargnani is still among one of the best centers to ever play for the Raptors.
During his time in Toronto, Bargnani established himself as a one-tool player- an offensive talent capable of exploding for a scoring burst anytime he took the floor.
Of course, outside of his offensive game, in which his shooting ability spread the floor for the Raptors, he was rather useless. He