Are the Toronto Raptors the greatest one-and-done team ever?

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors reign over the NBA ended as quickly as it began. Will they go down as the greatest one-and-done team in NBA history?

One-and-done teams and players are a staple of college basketball and have been for a number of years now. The college experience is now all about improving your star brand and getting to the NBA as quickly as possible. Sometimes that works well for a player and other times they rush into the NBA Draft and struggle to make an impact.

NBA teams, on the other hand, rarely enter the realms of one-and-done territory, opting to meticulously build their teams from the ground up until continued success is a viable option as opposed to an unconscious pipedream.

Occasionally, though, the stars align. Front offices gather the resources and capital and decide that it’s time to aim for the moon. The untethered and unbound heights of the NBA Finals, where only one team can win it all. If you play your cards right, it could be you.

It takes skill, the ability to know one’s value, and an immense amount of luck, but teams can jump the queue and punch their ticket to greatness out of nowhere. One such team was the 2018-19 Toronto Raptors.

On the periphery of the elite for the past few seasons, the Raptors have struggled to make an impact in the postseason despite copious amounts of success – and wins – in the regular season. Frequently shunted out of the playoffs by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers of years gone by, the Raptors weren’t even the bridesmaids of the wedding. They were sat at the table beside the restroom, recounting stories of how it should have been them up on stage as the door of the men’s swings open and hits the back of their chair.

And then, during the summer of 2018, the Raptors were handed a golden ticket. Kawhi Leonard, then of the San Antonio Spurs, wanted out. A relationship fractured beyond repair in the eyes of Leonard, there was no future for him in Texas. It was time to move on.

The rest, as they say, is history. But does the Toronto Raptors title win rank as the best one-and-done season in NBA history?