Toronto Raptors all-time draft steal starting 5

Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Shooting Guard - Tracy McGrady, No. 9 pick in 1997

From 2016 we head back two decades to the 1997 NBA Draft. Our goal with this list is to highlight times when the Raptors successfully identified that a player taken at a certain draft slot would be the best pick, and not penalize them if they didn't maximize that player's production with Toronto.

That's where Tracy McGrady comes in. One of the early prep-to-pro draft prospects, McGrady passed up attending the University of Kentucky to enter the 1997 Draft straight out of high school. The Raptors took a shot on McGrady over more proven college prospects and hit the jackpot.

McGrady started slowly, understandably so for a high school player playing for a relatively young franchise. By his third season he was starting to break out and finished third in Sixth Man of the Year while sharing playing time with another star shooting guard in Vince Carter.

That is where the Raptors and McGrady parted ways, with T-Mac signing with the Orlando Magic to spread his wings. He would go on to lead the league in scoring twice, finish Top-10 in MVP voting six different times, and despite multiple issues with injuries finish as a clear-cut Top-3 player in his draft class and one of the cultural icons of his generation.