Raptors Top Ten Draft Selections of all time

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VINCE CARTER – shooting guard, North Carolina [acquired in draft night trade for Antawn Jamison]

Selected by: Glen Grunwald, #4, 1998

[Editor’s Note: I asked Glen Grunwald via e-mail why the Raptors drafted Jamison, rather than Carter. He was good enough to send a detailed reply, which will form the basis of a future post discussing the machinations constantly swirling around the NBA draft. Suffice it to say both teams ended up with the player they wanted. Thank you, Glen.]

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Carter burst onto the scene with a Raptors franchise searching for an identity. So they borrowed Vince’s, and was it ever worth it, changing an expansion team into must-see TV. Carter averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3 assists in his first season, earning Rookie of the Year honours. He followed up that performance with 25.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4 assists in his second year and would lead the Raptors to their first playoffs berth in franchise history. He would also lead the Raptors their only playoff series win against the New York Knicks, and would go toe-to-toe with Allen Iverson in 2001.

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Toronto Career Highlights

  • 4x NBA All Star (2000-2003)
  • 2000 All-NBA 3rd Team
  • 2001 All-NBA 2nd Team
  • 1999 NBA Rookie Of The Year
  • 1999 NBA All-Rookie 1st Team

Almost synonymous with the word “dunk”, Carter put Toronto on the basketball ball map with his jaw dropping, show stopping, electrifying dunks; wining the 2000 Slam Dunk contest in perhaps the best and most dominating performance in the event’s history and showing Oakland that maybe they shouldn’t have made that draft day deal (in fairness, Jamison was hardly a bust).

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Although his departure from the team in 2004 still has some fans feeling bitter, there is no denying and no question that for better or worse, Vince Carter is not only the greatest draft selection by Toronto, but the best player ever to play for Canada’s lone team.

Vince Carter, He The North.

  • by Matthew Allman