9. Morris Peterson, 2000-01
Peterson was in an odd place when he came into the league, as the Michigan State product was one of only two players younger than 25 on a Lenny Wilkens team laden with veteran talent. That didn’t stop him from contributing as a shooter and defender during his first season in the NBA.
Peterson averaged 9.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while making 38% of his 3-point attempts. Peterson would eventually become one of the greatest shooting guards in team history on the back of seven fabulous seasons in which he averaged 12.0 points per game despite constant coaching turnover.
Morris Peterson showed off the traits that made him a Raptors fan favorite.
Peterson’s rookie year came within the context of one of the best pre-Masai Ujiri Raptors teams, as Lenny Wilkens won 47 games took the team to the second round of the playoffs. Peterson clearly played an important role despite his tender age, and he would keep making plays for 11 years in the pros.
Peterson is the epitome of a perfect role player. He put in an honest night’s work every single day, becoming a solid scorer and pestilent defender in the process. He doesn’t have any titles to his name, but he is still one of the best Raptors guards of all time.