The 12 Greatest Raptors in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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No. 11: DeMar DeRozan, 17.7

Any list of the greatest players in Toronto Raptors franchise history would seem incomplete without DeMar DeRozan, yet he ended up outside of the Top 10 in the eyes of PER. Why would that be?

DeRozan's sheer volume is astounding, as he leads the team in a cornucopia of career statistics: games, minutes, field goals, free throws and points. He is even third in steals, fourth in assists and seventh in total rebounds. Specifically looking at points, DeRozan's 13,296 points is 2800 more than Lowry in second.

Why does DeRozan not rank higher in career PER, then? The answer is that Player Efficiency Rating values filling out a box score, and while DeRozan racked up strong career numbers because of how many games he palyed in a Toroton uniform, in any given day his contributions were largely as a scorer. Only once did he average more than five rebounds in a season, and similarly just once did he crack five assists.

His scoring was also somewhat one-dimensional, built on a steady diet of mid-range shots and floaters. DeRozan shot just 28.8 percent from deep on modest volume in his nine seasons in Toronto and largely created his own shots. That left his efficiency much lower than it could otherwise have been; his ability to draw free throws and hit them certainly helped, but his efficiency from the field was a pedestrian; his 46.3 percent effective field goal percentage ranks only 59th out of 70 players who played at least 100 games for the Raptors.

DeRozan's ability to create his own shot was a major asset to the Raptors, and his volume matters to his standing with the franchise. PER, which doesn't factor in longevity, recognizes his impact while also penalizing him for a lack of other contributions and pedestrian efficiency numbers.