Toronto Raptors: 30 greatest players of all-time

(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard – Toronto Raptors (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

21. Kawhi Leonard

Is Kawhi Leonard too high on this list, only less than half a season into what might hopefully be the first of his many seasons as a Toronto Raptor?

Possibly, that’s for you to decide. But to me, he’s earned his place on this list. Even if it feels like he’s too low down, with only more than quarter of a season of game time under his belt, Kawhi has proven to be one of the best players to put on a Raptors jersey.

Leonard was traded to the Raptors in the summer of 2018, in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a first-round pick.

His desire to be traded came about after a misdiagnosis of an injury which kept him out for the majority of the 2017-18 season. The Raptors took a big risk trading, maybe, the most loyal player in the team’s history for Kawhi, who is a free agent come the end of the 2018-19 season. L.A. could well be Leonard’s preferred destination come the end of this season, but Toronto has to feel confident in re-signing him, or at least feel they have a fighting chance.

An NBA Champion, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a multiple-time All-Star, Leonard’s résumé screams All-World talent. His arrival has lifted the Raptors to the top of the NBA, even if they haven’t been fully healthy at any point this year. An incredible player in isolation, driving to the rim and basically in every other facet of the game.

If Leonard sticks around in Toronto for longer than one season, expect him to be a lot higher in the coming years.