Finding comparisons for every active player on the Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Danny Green (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Danny Green (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

A backcourt from the early 2000s

Kyle Lowry: Chauncey Billups
Lowry plays with a certain swagger; the kind of edge fans have made synonymous with Raptors Basketball over the last seven years. He’s been, undoubtedly, the leader of this team since his first full season in Toronto, and over the years has taken on a mythical persona – he may not act like it at times, but he is and always was the heart of the team.

He’s tried on the “top offensive option” hat before and ended up overexerting himself in the process (see: 2015/2016). Both this season and last, Lowry has made notable changes to his game to help give the Raptors the best chance at continued success.

Chauncey Billups was like that. Billups, nicknamed “Mr. Big Shot,” for his ability to close games and make shots when they mattered most, led a mid-2000’s Pistons team to a championship in the 2004 NBA Finals. In that series, Billups’ gave the team what was needed to win – scoring points, racking up assists, or both – en route to a 4-1 series victory over the Lakers.

Back to the point: Lowry provides this quality for Toronto, and in doing so, the two players look similar – both statistically and stylistically. Some nights, Lowry will take a back seat, ceding the scoring load to a teammate, and other nights he’s perfectly comfortable making six threes and scoring over 20 points.

Danny Green: Eddie Jones
The most difficult part in trying to find a comparison to Green (who is technically the genesis of the “three and D” terminology of the modern league) is that players like him used to be the top offensive options for their teams – or at the very least, a secondary option.

If Green were to play in the era of Eddie Jones (mid-90’s-early 00’s), I believe he’d be a similarly productive player as a lead two guard. While Green’s handles aren’t anywhere near as complete as Jones’, he shoots and defends with the best (hence the 3&D moniker).