The best of the bunch

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

The Raptors wouldn't be a bad team if everyone who ever played in Toronto had played together at the same time.

Actually, they would form a fairly intimidating unit.

What follows is our suggestion for the Raptors' all-time team. Some choices are obvious, whereas others are open to heated debate.

By the way, the all-time team was limited to players who, arguably, have made a substantial contribution to the Raptors. That means excluding players who had Hall-of-Fame careers before they got here (such as Hakeem Olajuwon, who played only 61 games for the Raptors), or players who went on to great things after they left (such as Chauncey Billups, who played only 29 games in a Toronto uniform).

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STARTERS

G Damon Stoudamire

His career plateaued after he left Toronto in a huff, but he's still a pretty good player, not to mention the best point guard in Raptors history. Winning the NBA's rookie-of-the-year award in 1995-96 remains his high point.

G Vince Carter

For better or worse, he's still the best player this franchise ever has seen. He used to be more spectacular than he is now, as evidenced by the NBA slam-dunk contest in 2000. But talent-wise, he's in a class by himself.

F Tracy McGrady

Raptors fans still drool at what might have been. What if he had stayed around long enough to blossom? What if he and Vince Carter had formed a 1-2 punch? Nonetheless, an astute draft pick at No. 9 by former GM Isiah Thomas.

F Charles Oakley

Those who remember all those crazy things Oak used to say sometimes forget what a great player he was. An elder statesman during his Toronto days, he watched Vince Carter's back and set a no-nonsense tone in the locker room.

C Antonio Davis

He's not really a centre in terms of size, but his best seasons occurred manning the middle for Toronto. He used his quickness to great advantage and ultimately was the starting centre for the Eastern Conference in the 2001 all-star game.

BENCH

G Doug Christie

You want defence? Here's your man. He had his stormy times in Toronto because of fights with coaches, disputes over money and a highly visible family. But the Raptors never have come close to replacing his skills as a perimeter defender.

G Dell Curry

Swish. No one could shoot like Dell Curry. He was a little long in the tooth by the time he arrived here, but nothing spreads the defence like a guy who just doesn't miss.

G Alvin Williams

The longest-serving Raptor has hit some rough times in terms of injuries. But never has this club had a tougher player. He universally is respected by his teammates. In fact, if this all-time team selected a captain, he would be the best choice.

G/F Jalen Rose

He hasn't been in Toronto for all that long, arriving in a mid-season trade last year. But his versatility in being able to play point guard, shooting guard and small forward is invaluable. A big year this season only will solidify his selection.

F/C Chris Bosh

Yeah, we know, this only is his second season. But he more than qualifies for this all-time team, given the Raptors' dearth of big men through the years. And frankly, by the time his career is over, he may be the most obvious choice of all.

F/C Marcus Camby

Loaded with physical skills that can drive an opponent crazy, he never quite lived up to his potential while he was a Raptor. He still had some stellar moments, though, and he led the NBA in blocked shots as a Raptor in '97-98.

C Kevin Willis

The fact that he still is playing in the NBA at age 42 reveals the dedication he brings to the game. He works out more in a week than some players do in a month. Arguably the most reliable true centre the Raptors ever have had.


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