Toronto Raptors: Five drafted players who had great careers elsewhere

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam and C.J. Miles (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam and C.J. Miles (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge /Allsport /

The Toronto Raptors have drafted more than a handful of decent talent over the years, but which players went on to have great careers elsewhere in the NBA?

Since the turn of the decade, the Toronto Raptors have hit a different trajectory than their first 15 seasons in the NBA. The team hit turmoil in the first three years of the decade, sure enough, but after they traded for Kyle Lowry the Raptors found a winning combination.

The backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Lowry led the Toronto Raptors to unparalleled success compared to anything the club had been used to. They made the playoffs for five successive seasons and won 50-plus games three seasons in a row. Things got better once DeRozan was traded away too.

The Raptors won their first-ever NBA title last season under the guidance of Nick Nurse and led by Kawhi Leonard. DeRozan went on to have semi-decent success with the Spurs while Leonard was aided by the likes of Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.

Lowry has turned into a fixture for the Raptors and is, likely, the greatest player in Toronto Raptors history. But, things didn’t start as well for Lowry with the team that drafted him: the Memphis Grizzlies.

That’s sometimes the case in the NBA, the team you start with isn’t the team you’ll have the most success with, and that’s the case for a few Toronto Raptors players too. This list isn’t to say that these players didn’t have great tenures with the Raptors, but more to acknowledge that their success was maybe more prominent elsewhere.

These players all had successful stints with the Raptors to varying degrees but also found better or similarly successful roles elsewhere. This isn’t a definitive list or a top five, it’s just a nice list to appreciate basketball talent. It starts with a less than obvious choice, but away we go.