If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re ranking every player in Raptors history based on their contributions to the team. Arbitrary criteria, don’t get mad at me, yaddah yaddah.
Monday’s cluster of 30 journeyman failed to produce much in the way of stand-out moments or poppin’ stat lines during their mostly brief stints in Toronto. Today’s batch of dudes features guys who were still forgettable NBA players, brought provided little dashes of competence, even goodness to the Raptors while they were in town.
150. Martin Lewis, SF (1996-1997); 25 GP / 9.6 minutes / 3.6 points / 1.4 rebounds
We begin this portion of the rankings with perhaps the most anonymous sounding dude in team history. Lewis hung around the team during its first two seasons, occasionally happening into some playing time. 32 of the 89 points he scored with Toronto came over a magical two-game stretch in April 1996, when he dropped 15 and 17 points in back-to-back games. The Raptors lost those games by a combined 47 points.
149. Carlos Arroyo, PG (2001-2002); 17 GP / 5.6 minutes / 1.8 points / 0.7 rebounds
Sixteen years after breaking into the NBA with the Raptors, Arroyo, at age 38, was a key cog in Leones de Ponce’s third-place finish in the 2017 FIBA Americas League. Playing alongside dignitaries such as ex-Grizzly Hakim Warrick, Arroyo averaged 16.4 points and a tournament-leading 8.5 assists. He was so good he was named the point guard on the tournament’s All-Star team, the Ideal Quintet.
Motion to call the All-NBA teams the first, second and third Ideal Quintets.
148. Greg Stiemsma, C (2014-2015); 17 GP / 0.8 points / 0.9 rebounds / Not even one block in 66 minutes
Stiemsma’s contributions to the Raptors were more spiritual than basketball-related. If CJ Miles is an actively participating bench dad, Stiemsma was a cool, underage beer-supplying bench uncle. He’s also been a vocal spokesman and advocate for mental health awareness since way back during his college career. All-around solid dudes deserve inflated rankings.
147. Solomon Alabi, C ( 2010-2012); 26 GP / 7.0 minutes / 1.5 points / 2.3 rebounds / 1 very excellent game
Many of you would know what I’m talking about if I uttered the phrase “The Ben Uzoh Game.” But what if I were to reference “The Solomon Alabi Game?” Stumped?
They’re the same game, bitch.
The night Ben Uzoh recorded his triple-double — April 26th, 2012, in a 98-67 win over the Nets that was wrought with lottery implications that I’ll delve into further in a future post — Alabi posted by far his career-best performance in what would, like Uzoh, be his last NBA game. In 40(!!) minutes off the bench in relief of ceremonial starter Jamaal Magloire, Alabi put up 11 points and and 19 rebounds, paired with three blocks; career-highs across the board. So if you must be a wet-pantsed revisionist who voices anger with Uzoh for ruining the Raptors’ lotto odds six years ago, be sure to include Alabi under your umbrella of scorn.
146. Maceo Baston, PF (2002-2003 & 2007-2008); 31 GP / 6.7 minutes / 2 starts / 2.6 points / 1.6 rebounds / 64.0 FG%
In the summer of 2007, the Raptors extended a two-year / $3.8 million offer sheet that the Pacers declined to match. A year later, Baston was sent back to Indy along with Rasho Nesterovic, TJ Ford and Roy Hibbert for Jermaine O’Neal and Nathan Jawai.
I hope Baston views the nice contract and his inclusion in the disasterfuck trade as revenge for being forced to play through the incomprehensibly dark and shitty 24-58 season of 2002-03.
145. John Thomas, PF/C (1997-2000); 115 GP / 17 starts / 2.8 points / 2.1 rebounds / 51.0 FG%s
Young Sean Woodley was duped into believing John Thomas was a critical member of the 1999-2000 Raptors when he adorned the tickets to his very first live game.
To my great surprise and disappointment, Thomas did not play in the game. Thankfully Vince Carter scored 47 points to lift my spirits.
144. Mamadou N’Diaye, C (2001-2003); 30 GP / 8 starts / 14.0 minutes / 4.8 points / 3.2 rebounds / 1.1 blocks
143. Marcus Banks, PG (2008-2010); 31 GP / 4.2 points / 9.9 minutes / 1.1 assists
N’Diaye and Banks had mirror Raptors careers. Both spent nearly three calendar years on the roster, sneaking into one of every eight or so games to chip admirably, only to be relegated to third-string duty soon after. And both were eventually traded in multi-player deals that brought legends of the franchise to town — in N’Diaye’s case it was Keon Clark; Banks helped fetch Peja Stojakovic.
142. Dion Glover, SG (2004); 14 GP / 4 starts / 4.6 points / 2.1 rebounds / 1.1 assists
To this point, Glover is the guy who’s made me say “he only played that many games with the Raptors?” the most incredulously. In fairness to my memory, one game during the Kevin O’Neill season is roughly equivalent to seven regular games.
141. Sebastian Telfair, PG (2012-2013); 13 GP / 14.2 minutes / 4.3 points / 3.0 assists / 29.0 FG%
Never has there been a more “played in China at the end of his career” guy than Sebastian Telfair.
140. Luke Jackson, SF (2007); 10 GP / 2 starts / 4.5 points / 0.9 rebounds / 0.9 assists / 3 playoff appearances
Jackson’s Raptors career is on the shortlist of the most bizarre. Bryan Colangelo signed him to a pair of ten-day contracts that morphed into a deal for the remainder of the season in the lead-up to the 2007 playoffs. He got into 10 regular season games that April, going scoreless in six, but saved his per-game averages with a 30-point, five-assist, four-rebound effort on 12-of-16 shooting in last game of the season against the Sixers. He went on to appear in three games against the Nets in the first round, potting six points on six free-throw attempts, thus leaving him with what is surely the best True Shooting Percentage in the history of the club — 113.6, per Basketball Reference. Who says the Raptors can’t shoot in the playoffs?
139. Mickael Pietrus, SF (2012-2013); 19 GP / 16 starts / 20.3 minutes / 5.3 points / 1.9 rebounds / 34.7 FG%
The best thing you could say about Pietrus’ quarter-season in Toronto is that of all the sucky small forwards to have died on the road to acquiring Kawhi Leonard (he plays for the Raptors now, btw), Pietrus would probably fall somewhere in the bottom 50th percentile when it comes to total suckage emitted.
138. Jimmy King, SG (1995-1996); 62 GP / 1 start / 4.5 points / 1.8 rebounds / 1.4 assists
Toronto has a noble and most ancient history of throwing second-round picks down the garbage chute with glee. Despite being something between bad and inconsequential, King was actually a pretty successful foray into the back half of the draft by Raptors standards. He ranks behind only Norman Powell and Roko Ukic in games played for Toronto by a Raptors second-round pick (and Powell was technically a Bucks pick!).
137. Hubert Davis, SG (1996-1997); 36 GP / 17.3 minutes / 5.0 points / 1.1 rebounds / 0.9 assists / 22.9 3FG% on 2 attempts/game
Because I’m a young and know nothing about Hubert Davis, I’ve enlisted the help of our Dan Grant for a guest blurb:
Sometimes when he runs into Raptors scenarios or dilemmas from a bygone era (*gasp* the 90’s!) young Sean Woodley will get in touch with me. I like to imagine he looks at a phone somewhat like the bat-phone, except that it’s bald-ish and greying, like me.
Anyway, Hubert Davis! A 6’5 sharpshooting combo-guard and a graduate of Riley’s Knicks, he is definitely NOT the Hubert Davis that directed the 2016 Giants of Africa doc and is the son of former Harlem Globetrotter Mel Davis, and I never thought he was even for a second, no sir.
The real Hubert Davis was acquired before the 1996-97 season by then Executive Vice-President Isiah Thomas for -- stay with me here -- the Knicks own first round draft pick which they had previously traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal for Derek Harper, and which the Raptors had acquired (along with the legendary Popeye Jones) in a trade for Jimmy King two days prior. The Knicks then used that pick to select John Thomas, who would be traded to Boston and then to Toronto in 1998. You can’t make this stuff up.
Knicks President Ernie Grunfeld on the trade:
“It’s going to be a great situation for Hubert at Toronto. He had steady improvement every year in all facets of his game, and that’s because of his work ethic. He worked at it.”
Swing and a miss, Ernie! Even though Davis shot 44.1% from three in his career, second only to Steve Kerr in NBA history, he managed just a 22.9% mark for Toronto, by far a career worst. Despite costing Toronto a first round pick, he played just 36 games and was released following the season, a classic Isiah Thomas move. He then went to Dallas and posted consecutive seasons of 43.9%, 45.1% and 49.1% from deep, leading the league in 1999-00, because of course he did.
136. Jared Sullinger, PF (2016-2017); 11 GP / 1 start / 3.4 points / 2.5 rebounds / 31.9 FG% / 1-inch vertical
As a person who really likes carbs, Sullinger is the Raptor I’ve most related to over the years.
135. Nigel Hayes, SF (2018); 2 GP / 3.0 points / 100 FG%
And with one six-point game on 2-of-2 shooting your all-time franchise leader in field-goal percentage and three-point accuracy is ... Nigel Hayes, baby! His eternally-lasting perch atop two significant statistical categories is enough for me to overlook his six total minutes of court time and offer him a generous placing.
134. Sundiata Gaines, SG (2011); 6 GP / 5.8 points / 1.3 rebounds / 1.8 assists
More like Sundiata Losses, amirite?
No, seriously. The Raptors lost all six games in which they played Gaines.
133. Quincy Douby, PG (2009); 7 GP / 10.4 points / 4.4 points / 1.7 assists / 44.4 3FG%
Douby is the only Raptor whose last name sounds like naive parent drug slang. That has to count for something.
132. Dan O’Sullivan, C (1996); 5 GP / 2 starts / 6.6 points / 6.4 rebounds / 0.8 blocks / 37.1 FG%
Whomever Dan O’Sullivan is, his ranking is inflated for being one of a select few players to actually produce during a hyper-short stretch with the team. Why the Raptors didn’t feel the need to offer him a second ten-day contract after entrusting him with two starts during his first deal is one of those Isiah Thomas-ass oddities that litter the early box scores of the franchise.
131. Lorenzo Brown, PG/SG (2017-2018); 14 GP / 9.9 minutes / 2.3 points / 1.1 rebounds / 0.9 assists
Despite The Good Zo’s refusal to ever take a damn shot for like three months to start the year, and his general lack of run time with the big club, Brown gets a boost in the rankings because he tore up the G-League like he was James freaking Harden. Like the real Harden, Brown was named MVP of the league in which he eviscerated fools. Whether he figures into Nick Nurse’s rotation as a full-time NBA player this year is a real question, but few fringe NBA guys have paid more dues en route to getting paid, however relatively meager his one-year partially guaranteed deal may be.
130. Justin Dentmon, PG (2012); 4 GP / 5.5 points / 1.8 rebounds / 2.3 assists
Dentmon was unable to turn his own D-League MVP (2012) into a full-time NBA deal, but it did earn him a 10-day with the Raptors near the end of the lockout-shortened season. Why he was cast aside while Ben Uzoh was given free reign over the future of the franchise is unclear. Maybe one day Dentmon will parlay his appearances in The Basketball Tournament into another NBA shot. He’d instantly be Orlando’s best point guard, probably.
129. Eric Williams, SF/SG (2004-2006) 62 GP / 29 starts / 4.0 points / 2.0 rebounds / 1.0 assists
Fuck Rob Babcock, dude.
128. Fred Jones, SG (2006-2007); 39 GP / 9 starts / 7.6 points / 2.1 rebounds / 1.4 assists / 38.6 FG% / 0 memorable dunks, wtf
127. John Salmons, SG/SF (2013-2014); 60 G / 5.0 points / 2.0 rebounds / 1.7 assists / 37.3 Playoff True Shooting %
John Salmons was supposed to be a Raptor in the summer of 2006. A 5-year/$23 million sign-and-trade with the Sixers was lined up and agreed to before Salmons, citing his faith, opted to take Sacramento’s similar offer instead. As a plan B, Bryan Colangelo threw 3 years and $11 million at ex-dunk champ Fred Jones.
Jones was blah, and got traded for Juan Dixon midway through his first season in Toronto. Dixon was traded the next summer for Primoz Brezec, who was released after 13 games. Asset management!
Salmons of course came to Toronto from the Kings in the Rudy Gay trade and was a fine bench hand before getting roasted by Joe Johnson in the playoffs. His greatest contribution to the team was being involved in the swap that brought Bebe into our lives.
Nothing in this blurb means a scrap of anything. This has been Arby’s talk.
126. Dwayne Whitfield, PF (1996); 8 GP / 5.0 points / 3.1 rebounds / 1 very good game where he got a double-double you don’t care about
Of any player I’ve researched to this point, Whitfield’s name has yielded the least interesting results. Any career that occurs entirely during the dregs of the inaugural season of an outpost franchise is doomed to be lost in the ether. It’s amazing Whitfield even has a Basketball Reference page.
125. Gary Forbes, SG (2011-2012); 48 GP / 2 starts / 14.9 minutes / 6.6 points / 2.1 rebounds / 1.1 assists
We’ve discussed Alabi’s role in the tankiest game to ever tank. And we’ll get to Ben Uzoh and my very good take about that game as a whole at some point in the top-100 (deal with it, it’s happening), but we’d remiss if we didn’t point out Forbes’ efforts to thwart Alabi and Uzoh’s anti-tanking actions on April 26th, 2012. Forbes took 21 goddamn shots that night, going just 8-of-21 for 23 points. Only 18 times did a Raptor attempt 20+ shots during the 2011-12 season; DeMar DeRozan had the green light most often. The box score of this game should be framed.
124. Michael Bradley, PF/C (2001-2004); 98 GP / 11 starts / 3.8 points / 4.5 rebounds / 0.4 blocks / 0.9 turnovers
Michael Bradley was supposed to be the truth. Before the Raptors took him 17th-overall in the 2001 draft, Bradley posted monstrous averages of 20.8 points, 9.8 boards and 2.6 assists on nearly 70 percent shooting as a senior at Villanova. Instead of making good on that promise, he shares Basketball Reference similarity scores with folks like Perry Jones and Viktor Khryapa
123. Rod Strickland, PG (2004); 15 GP / 1 start / 4.7 points / 3.9 points / 33.3 FG%
There was a time, an entire decade even, when Rod Strickland was an awesome point guard. This is not true of his time with the Raptors. It is true, however, that Strickland is one of five Raptors to record 16 or more assists in a game. A nuanced tale is the one of Rod Strickland.
122. Jerome Moiso, C (2003-2004); 43 GP / 2 starts / 2.7 points / 3.2 rebounds / Many Zeros
121. Pape Sow, C (2004-2006); 76 GP / 29 starts / 2.9 points / 2.8 points / Many More Zeros
Anyone who futilely attached their hopes to the Raptors in the mid-2000s knows all about Sam Mitchell’s Zero, Zero, Zero rant, issued after a run-of-the-mill loss in Washington on November 23rd, 2004.
Here’s a look at the box score from that game.
The degree to which I believed it would work out for Moiso, and to a greater extent Sow, was profound. The aftermath of the Carter fiasco left us grasping for the flimsiest straws, man.
That’s 100 players in books! Come back on Monday as we finally reach the top-100 players in Raps history. Don’t worry, we won’t be covering anyone actually good for weeks.