Who Was The Best Toronto Raptor of All Time

Although the Raptors are not steeped in rich history, they have had their share of stars come and go.  The franchise isn’t very old, especially relatively speaking, but I think we have had enough time to make a call on the best player ever. Considering the Raptors are now on the brink of another rebuild, it is the perfect time to look at the past.

I have already taken the step to narrow this down to two players.  I only paid attention to their time as a Raptor (eliminating guys like Olajuwon and McGrady).  I think it is obvious that this question comes down to Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.  I am sure most people will agree with these choices.  I’d love to put my favorites like Alvin Williams but we know who the real stars were.  Toronto has two real eras: Carter Era and Bosh Era.

Note: All of these stats and numbers are specific only to the years they played in Toronto.  I also didn’t count the strike shortened season or Vince’s last season where he only played 20 games for Raptors before being traded.

1. Let’s start with some basic numbers:

23.2 PPG | 5.2 RPG | 3.81 APG
Bosh: 20.2 PPG | 9.4 RPG | 2.2 APG

It is hard to look at numbers and compare two different positions.  However, it is clear that Vince was the better scorer.  If you watched them both you could tell that easily.  Vince had a great inside outside game when he was in his prime with Raptors.  He wasn’t as great of a distributor as some other people at his position but he wasn’t exactly a slouch.

Bosh is more well rounded if you look at the numbers, he offsets his lower scoring with much higher rebounding. Of course that has something to do with his height and position .  Bosh put up some great numbers in Toronto especially his last two years and only looks to get better.  He does have a bit of a robotic aspect to his game, but he is still more fluid than most big men.

Advantage: TIE
I think Vince was easily a more dynamic scorer but Bosh was more well rounded. Hard to give either guy a clear advantage.

2. All Star Appearances

Carter: Five
Bosh: Five

Advantage: TIE
I didn’t count Carter’s final partial season in the stats, so I can’t use it here either.  Both of these guys ended their Toronto careers with five all star appearances.

3. Team Success

.466 Winning Ptcg | 3 Playoff Appearances | 9 Wins | One Series Win
Bosh: .442 Winning Ptcg | 2 Playoff Appearances | 3 Wins | No Series Win

Advantage: Carter
I know a team wins games not single players, but basketball is the sport in which a single player can make the most difference.  Bosh was here longer but won less playoff games and never won a series.  Carter led the Raptors to a better overall record and was one three pointer away from a deep playoff run.  The Raptors as a whole were most successful under Vince Carter.

4. Intangibles

Bosh worked harder than Vince period.  One of the biggest knocks against Vince was his drive.  He was a happy go lucky kid on the Raptors at first. Instead of morphing into hard nosed player as he aged he just seemed to lose interest in the Raptors.  He truly gave up on the team.  He had a string of  dubious injuries and once told the media he was done with dunking.  Eventually he forced a pretty lopsided trade to NJ.  On the other hand though, Vince transcended basketball – he was an international star.  He essentially built the Raptor organization, he most undoubtedly gave them credibility.  At one time Vince was the face of the league, not just the Raptors.

Bosh was a hard worker who get better every single year.  He gave his all on the court and was never a malcontent.  There were times he looked exasperated but this would usually be preceded by him doing everything he could only to watch teammates half ass it.  Bosh was a complete and utter professional in his time as a Raptor.  That said Bosh did carry himself as a bit of a primadonna this final off season.  He seemed to be toying with the Toronto fans emotions.  My opinion is he was a young guy enjoying the spotlight – it was a bit immature, but it wasn’t as outrageous as Carter’s antics.

Advantage: Bosh

FINAL ANSWER: Vince Carter

I love Bosh and you could argue he has become a more complete player than Carter ever was BUUUUUUUT I think team success is the big factor.  Carter was able to lead his team to more success.  He was also a way bigger star than Bosh.  Bosh got a lot of media attention during the free agent frenzy but besides that he was mostly left to do his work quietly.  Carter was an international superstar who was mentioned in the same breath as the Kobes and Pierces. At one time people even talked about him as the next Jordan. He isn’t my favorite Raptor and he probably isn’t yours.  He also never quite reached the status he should have, but in my opinion he is still the best player the Toronto Raptors have ever had.  I admit he quit on this team and went out like a punk, but you can’t argue that the team was better with Carter at 100%.

Just imagine Carter was as dedicated and hard working as Bosh was during his time here.  Had that been true, I believe that both the Raptors and himself would be talked about quite differently today.

  • Sick analysis man. I could not have said it better and apparently time heals all wounds because when I think back to the old days, I have amazing memories of Vince.

    I will say that the squad he had around him was WAAAAAY better than any group of guys Bosh ever had. The one year with Garbo was as close as they came talent wise but Antonio Davis, Oakley, Alvin Williams, Chris Childs, etc... was the best grouping of players talent wise that the Raps ever had. Mind you...Vince made a lot of those guys better.

    Man, I still remember that game in Toronto on NBC against the Suns and Vince had 51 points. He was the FIERCEST cold blooded competitor that year. If he had that attitude for his entire career...My goodness.

  • You forgot to mention Vince had "Alvin Peterson" LOL Thanks for pointing out that typo btw.

    And good call on Vince having a better team around him, I agree. Maybe it is just nostalgia playing with my mind but it seemed like Vince could take over a game easier.

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