It has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Toronto Raptors in the 2000’s. They made it to the playoffs in four of the ten seasons, both times doing it two years in a row. In retrospect that means they were getting there, then dropped of the face of the Earth, and started to get there again. Unfortunately, with Chris Bosh now residing in Miami, it looks as though the Raptors are going to have an uphill battle to get back on Earth again. Out of the four seasons in the 2000’s that the Raptors made the playoffs, they only made it out of the first round in the 2000-01 season, where they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Here are the best five Toronto Raptors from 2001-2010. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Toronto Raptors from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Chris Bosh
It might be saddening for Toronto fans to realize this, but the player that is considered to be their best player in the past decade is now going to be the third best player on a different team. Most of the time that would be a sign that the guy wasn’t a top tier player to begin with, but Bosh has proven that he can be the man. While with Toronto, he had five straight seasons averaging 22 or more points. He also became a beast on the boards averaging a career high10.8 rebounds in the 2009-10 season. Bosh was named to five straight Eastern Conference All-Star Teams starting in the 2005-06 season.
2. Vince Carter
The departure of Carter left a bittersweet taste for Toronto fans, when they reminisce about the days when he dawned a Raptors jersey. In the day of Vince, the Raptors went where Vince went. Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t much more than mediocrity. Carter was a human highlight film though, and could do things on the court that few others could even imagine doing. In the 2000-01 season, he had his best season with the Raptors as he lit up the NBA for 27.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks. Proving the theory that the Raptors went as far as Vince would, in that same 2000-01 season, the Raptors won their first ever playoff series, beating the Knicks in five games.
3. Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani had two so-so seasons with the Raptors before making huge improvements in 2008-09, which was his third NBA season. He put up 15.4 points and grabbed 5.3 rebounds while blocking 1.2 shots per game. Not worthy of being a top tier middleman put still a solid contributor. He continued his improvement in 2009-10 with averages of 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
4. Morris Peterson
Mo Pete made exactly zero All-Star teams for the Raptors in the 2000’s. Yet, he was still their fourth best player of the decade, for the two simple facts of the Raptors are still in their early years, and Mo Pete was with them for seven seasons. Peterson was a solid role player that could come up with double figure points and supply a random big three pointer here and there.
5. Jose Calderon
Calderon is another Raptor that hasn’t put up spectacular numbers, but has slowly improved and became a solid player. His best season came in 2008-09 when he dropped in 12.8 points and dished out 8.9 assists per game. He currently has the Raptors record for most career assists for the franchise. Helps that it’s still a young franchise, eh?