3 Raptors who deserve to have statues built outside of Scotiabank Arena

Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol, Toronto Raptors
Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol, Toronto Raptors / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors' history as a franchise is certainly not as long as most teams in the NBA. The New York Knicks can trace their lineage back to the start of the league. The Los Angeles Lakers used to play in Minneapolis, the Sacramento Kings were in CIncinnati, the LA Clippers in Buffalo, NY. The Raptors began playing less than 30 years ago.

That doesn't mean there have not been some absolute stars to come through the team, and even more players who have made a significant impact on the franchise over the last three decades. As talk of statues has been running through the news lately, including Kobe Bryant's (first) statue unveiling last month, it's reasonable to ask the question: who deserves to have a statue in front of Scotiabank Arena?

Honorable Mentions for a Raptors statue

Let's hit on a few honorable mentions who probably don't make the cut. Kawhi Leonard led the Toronto Raptors to their only title in franchise history, and has a strong case for having the singular "best" season of any player in franchise history. Even so, one season does not get you a statue, no matter who great that season was.

Damon Stoudemire was the first star for the Raptors and still holds a special place in the hearts of many fans who were around at the beginning. Even so, he didn't play in Toronto long enough nor accomplish enough to factor here. It's a similar case for Chris Bosh who starred on largely losing teams in the aftermath of the Vince Carter departure and was individually excellent, but then left for the Miami Heat.

The toughest omission is DeMar DeRozan, who is still the franchise leader in a number of statistics, including games, minutes, field goals, free throws and overall points. At the same time, it's hard to argue with the reality that his playoff weaknesses held the team back, and it was only after they traded him (admittedly for a superstar in Kawhi Leonard) that they reached their full potential.

Let's look at three players who ultimately deserve a statue, starting with a no-brainer selection and then discussing two more complicated selections.