The Greatest Raptors By Each Number – Part 3 (21-30)

Some legit debates in this set. Part 3 of 5.

Incase you missed it:

Part 1 (00-10)

Part 2 (11-20)

First of all, apologies on not including numbers 31-40 as listed after last week’s edition. I decided to stick with another 10 for now, extending this process.

Onto week three of this now five part series.

21 – Marcus Camby

2 seasons (1996-98), 126 games. 13.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg.

Camby was part of the Raptors Canada series preseason in Edmonton last year

(Honourable Mention: Greivis Vasquez)

After Damon Stoudamire’s rookie of the year campaign in 1995-96, the Raptors selected Marcus Camby second overall in the 1996 draft. He averaged 14.8 points in his first year and led the NBA in blocks per game (3.7!!) as a sophomore. As the Raptors transitioned to add veterans around Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter the following season, Camby was traded to the New York Knicks for Charles Oakley. Camby went on to play in the 1999 Finals with NY, and win defensive player of the year with the Denver Nuggets in 2007.

A quick shoutout to Greivis Vasquez, who was a part of the resurgent “We the North” Raptors playoff teams of 2014 and 2015. His shimmy was the ONLY highlight of that dreadful first round vs the Wizards.

22 – Rudy Gay

2 seasons (2013), 51 games. 19.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 spg.

From “not this guy!” to “yeah that guy!”

The Raptors were in need of change in 2013, well on their way to missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year. The Andrea Bargnani era was about done, Kyle Lowry was in his first year with the Raptors, and DeMar DeRozan was still a raw talent at that point. In came Rudy Gay (saying goodbye to Jose Calderon in the process) as part of a three team deal. Previously, Rudy was best known for this hilarious commentary on his game winner in Toronto with the Grizzlies.

Gay had a few clutch moments in Toronto but ultimately didn’t stay a full calendar year. Masai Ujiri came in, the keys were given to Kyle and DeMar, and Gay was traded to Sacramento. Patrick Patterson, the aforementioned Vasquez, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes helped kickstart seven straight playoff appearances beginning in 2014.

Malachi Flynn currently wears 22.

23 – Fred VanVleet

7 seasons (2016-2023), 417 games. 14.6 ppg, 5.3 apg, 37.3 3pt%, 2019 Champion.

Fred’s Raptor journey, defying the odds

(Honourable mention: Lou Williams)

Fred’s path to the NBA was inspiring, coining the phrase “Bet on Yourself.” VanVleet rose from being undrafted, to sixth man finalist, to being the only player outside of Kawhi Leonard to receive a Finals MVP vote in 2019. He then became a starter, set a new franchise record with 54 points and an All-Star soon after. He’s somewhere in that 7-10 range of Greatest Raptors ever period. The 2019 playoff run where Fred looked unplayable to becoming the Milwaukee Bucks biggest nightmare will never be forgotten. This past season had some down moments but VanVleet calling out Ben Taylor will be a classic for a long time. VanVleet will be betting on himself again, departing this offseason to Houston on a fresh 3-year, $130 million contract.

Meanwhile, Lou Williams is the only Raptor to win sixth man of the year (2015). He had a great season in Toronto.

24 – Norman Powell

6 seasons (2015-21), 349 games. 9.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2019 Champion.

Playoff Powell was born

(Honourable Mention: Morris Peterson)

King of #24 is a good debate. Mo Pete averaged more points (12.0) as a Raptor in a harder era to score and was the number three scoring option for most of his career in Toronto. He had a few memorable clutch moments, including helping to force a Game 7 against Philly in 2001 and the ridiculous buzzer beater against the Wizards in 2007 when Michael Ruffin inexplicably tossed the ball up. Maybe Chuck Swirsky’s best call.

However you can make the argument that the Raptors dont win a title without Norm. The Raptors may have lost in the first round against Indiana in 2016 without his contributions. A third straight first round exit (especially one as a two seed) would probably have blown the team up. Norm also was inserted in the starting lineup and played huge again in the 2017 first round series vs Milwaukee. He earned the nickname “Playoff Powell” for a reason.

Comparing peaks, Powell developed into instant offence in his last two seasons as a Raptor, whether that was starting or coming off the bench. He earned East Player of the Week just before the covid stoppage. Having a better peak and more playoff moments gives Norm the nod.

Also, Jason Kapono is the only Raptor to win a three point shootout (2008). Can’t forget him.

25 – Chris Boucher

5 seasons (2019-present), 307 games. 9.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg.

One of the best plays last season

Slim Duck takes #25 easily, nobody else played more than one year in Toronto. He joins Cory Joseph for some Canadian content on this list.

Boucher arrived in Toronto after just playing a single game in Golden State. He cracked the rotation after the championship year and was a rare bright spot in Tampa. Boucher averaged 13.6 points (38% from 3!) and entertained some sixth man award talks for a while. He’s currently on a three year, $35 million contract.

26 – Hedo Türkoğlu

1 season (2009-10), 74 games. 11.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg.

The video choice was obvious


(Ok I’ll write more than one word)

Hedo is the only player to wear #26 for the Raptors and was supposed to be a big, rare free agency splash for a team hoping to keep Chris Bosh around. He was coming off a Finals appearance with the Magic, where he played a significant role. He had averaged 19.5 points, 5.7 boards and 5.0 assists the year prior. Turkoglu also was known as a clutch player, delivering numerous game winners for Orlando. He even changed his mind on the Blazers to sign a five year, $53 million contract here.

It simply didn’t pan out as hoped. After one season, Hedo was shipped to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa. Turkoglu ended up playing a second stint in Orlando.

This lob to rookie DeMar was very cool though.

27 – Alex Len

1 season (2021), 7 games. 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg.

9 of Alex Len’s 16 points as a Raptor

Where were you on New Years Eve 2020, when Alex Len was lighting it up from deep?

Like Hedo, Len is the only guy to wear #27 so far. He was waived just 13 games into the Tampa campaign. That means Len never actually played in Toronto as a Raptor. Len was the fifth pick by Phoenix in the 2013 draft.

28/29 – Rent is free. Nobody’s home.

30 – Dell Curry

3 seasons (1999-2002), 194 games. 6.7 ppg, 39.0% 3pt.

2002 First Round, deciding Game 5. Dell nearly helped the Raptors pull off a massive upset without Vince

(Honourable Mentions: Oliver Miller, Reggie Evans)

#30 brings a lot of intangibles and fun. Let’s discuss the honourable mentions first.

Day one Raptors fans might remember Oliver Miller putting up the best numbers of his career in a Raptors uniform during the inaugural 1995-96 campaign (12.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg). He even tried to throw a chair at prime Shawn Kemp. Real nostalgic stuff.

You want grit? Alright what about Reggie Evans? He averaged 11.5 boards in 30 games for the Raptors in 2010-11 and played in two seasons overall. Nothing illustrates grit more than getting ejected in a preseason game for slapping ass with Grant Hill. I assure you that the fans in Vancouver were very entertained.

But no, going with Dell Curry. His sharp shooting off the bench was a part of the Raptors first three playoff teams. He always found himself on the court late in elimination games; his three cut the deficit to one during that 2001 Game 7 in Philly. Yes, Vince Carter missed the next shot. He ended his career on fire before Chris Childs decided to…I don’t know. Oh, and Drake found a Dell Raptor jersey to troll Steph in Game one of the 2019 Finals. That’s the real reason.

Also who can forget the shootaround videos of a young Steph in Toronto?

Next week: #31-50. There are a lot of missing numbers so I promise (for real) to go through 20 of these.