Toronto Raptors: Top 5 most disappointing seasons in franchise history

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat head coach Pat Riley (r) raises his hands as he coaches his team in Miami’s game with the Toronto Raptors as Raptor Doug Christie (foreground) tries to move the ball around Keith Askins in the fourth quarter of their game at Toronto’s Skydome 10 April. (Photo credit should read CARLO ALLEGRI/AFP via Getty Images) /

No. 4: 1997-98

In only the third year since their inception, the 1997-98 Raptors were looked at as a promising young squad. After raising their win total by nine games the previous season, it seemed like the newly formed expansion franchise would be set to continue their rise up the conference standings. This is not how it panned out.

With a roster full of future stars such as Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby, it is hard to believe this team only managed to secure 16 wins over the course of the regular season. With little to no production on either end of the court, the Raptors struggled to squeak out wins, only having one double-digit victory all season long.

During this season, Stoudamire was a lone bright spot, averaging 19.7 points and 8.1 assists per game, while Doug Christie trailed him for second in scoring with 16.5 per game.

In his rookie year, the 18-year-old T-Mac certainly did not look like the future NBA superstar he would soon become, averaging seven points a night, and not contributing much else for his team as he slowly acclimated himself into the NBA. This season still was a huge letdown for fans when it came to overall on-court production by the Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors disappointed in 1997-98.

Coming into this season expectations were high, as it seemed Darrell Walker and the Canadians were set to become a team with playoff potential, but instead became the laughing stock of the NBA, finishing with the second-worst record in the league, only edging out more wins than the tumultuous 11-71 Denver Nuggets.

This season was one of the first major disappointments in franchise history, but there is a positive ending to what was a truly horrid season. Due to their poor on-court performance, the Raptors were able to select Vince Carter in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft after a trade with the Golden State Warriors.

Ironically, this is what turned out to be the true turning point in franchise history, it just came a season later than originally expected.