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
Toronto Raptors – Anthony Parker (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

18. Anthony Parker

A EuroLeague Champion and two-time EuroLeague M.V.P, Anthony Parker’s résumé outside of the NBA was enough to coerce the Toronto Raptors into bringing Parker back into the league — six years after he left the Orlando Magic.

Parker was drafted twenty-first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1997 NBA Draft, the shooting guard struggled to adapt to the NBA and left to ply his trade with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Lottomatica Roma before his re-emergence in 2006.

Parker was a three-and-D pioneer, if you’re willing to call him that, and was the Raptors starting shooting guard from the moment he arrived. He averaged double-digit points in his three seasons with the Raptors and averaged 42 percent from beyond the arc.

His impact on the team goes beyond offense, Parker helped sure up a defense that ranked in the bottom five in defensive efficiency and was a factor in the team clinching its first ever Atlantic Division title, the best regular-season record in franchise history and its first trip to the playoffs in five years.

The Raptors finished 41-41 the next season, but the .500 record was enough to get the team into the playoffs for successive years, and Parker proved to be a consistent player for the team all season. Parker played an average of 39 minutes per game in the playoffs, his shooting numbers were down and he struggled in the five-game series defeat to the Orlando Magic.

It’s often said that some players are born ten years too early, and Anthony Parker definitely fits the mold of someone who could seamlessly tie into a teams game plan in the current pace and space style of the NBA.