Raptors who cracked Sports Illustrated Top 100

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 24: Kyle Lowry /

Sports Illustrated just released a majority of their top 100 NBA players. Last years list featured DeMarre Carroll, Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The list of SI’s Top 100 features some familiar faces.

The Raptors who cracked the list

80. Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas earns his spot on SI’s Top 100 once again for his performance in the 2016-17 season. Valanciunas took a significant drop on the list compared to last year’s, where he sat at 62.

Valunciunas had his third season where he’s played 80 games. where he averaged 12 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 0.8 BLKS on 55% FG. Part of the slip could be due to his defense taking a hit since last season.

The Raptors proved to be better without Valanciunas in the line up throughout the regular season and in the playoffs. He played a career-low 22.6 MPG  and only started six of the 10 games in the playoffs.

The team adjusted without him in the line up so expect Masai Ujiri to make a move at some point this season to part ways with him.

56. Serge Ibaka

TORONTO, CANADA – APRIL 24: Serge Ibaka /

Serge Ibaka sits in the well-respected 50’s for his 2016-17 season after the Magic sent him north. He was unable to recapture his shot-blocking glory from his days on the OKC Thunder which is why Ibaka has taken a drop from his former 42 spot.

In his season debut for the Raptors, he averaged 14.2 PPG,6.8 RPG,1.2 BLKS on 45% FG and 39% 3PT. The Raptors have already taken a three-year, $65 million dollar bet that he can still provide solid numbers.

36. DeMar DeRozan

TORONTO, ON – MAY 07: DeMar DeRozan
TORONTO, ON – MAY 07: DeMar DeRozan /

DeMar DeRozan finally receives more credit for his superstar performance this season. Prior to this, DeRozan was placed at 46 on SI’s Top 100 for the 2015-16 season and wasn’t pleased to say the least.

It looks like DeMar still isn’t satisfied with his spot…

DeRozan now takes a leap on the list where he sits at 36 after a career year in Toronto.

His all-star partner Kyle Lowry getting injured near the All-Star break pushed DeRozan to prove his stardom—which he did. DeMar put up 27.3 PPG, 3.9 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1 STL on 46% FG and led the Raptors to the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

DeMar is one of the best shooting guards in the league but has underperformed in the post-season. Although he had a monster regular season, he hasn’t proved he can be team leader that elevates his teammate’s performances.

19: Kyle Lowry

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 15: Kyle Lowry
TORONTO, ON – APRIL 15: Kyle Lowry /

Kyle Lowry’s ranking sits at a flattering 19th spot.

More from Raptors Rapture

Lowry is ahead of Klay Thompson (20), Kyrie Irving (21) and his partner DeMar DeRozan but dropped lower than his 14th spot last year.

Lowry put up career highs 22.4 PPG, 7 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.5 STLS on 46% FG and 41% 3 PT in 60 games. Kyle proves to be a well-rounded playmaker but still lacks consistency and leadership to lead a team throughout the post-season.

His spot could be affected due to his durability and is expected to decline in the next couple of years.  At 31 years-old, he must overcome his playoff woes if the Raptors hope to acquire a championship anytime soon.

The Toronto Raptors have four players gracing Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 list. Will the Raptors be able to have the same outcome next year? Raptors fans should be prepared for the unexpected this season.