Toronto Raptors Details
The Raptors joined the NBA along with the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1995. After the Grizzlies moved south to Memphis, the Raptors became the only NBA team based outside of the United States. The NBA’s roots in Canada go back its very first game, which was played between the Knicks and the Toronto Huskies. The Raptors play in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
After a trade at the 1998 draft to acquire Vince Carter, the Raptors had their first taste of success. Carter—a future Hall of Famer who is still playing in the NBA at 40 years old—won Rookie of the Year in his first season and led the Raptors to their first playoff berth in his second year. The Raptors and Carter made the playoffs for three consecutive years from 2000-2002, where they went as far as a game seven in the second round.
The Raptors furthest playoff run came in the 2015-16 season, in which they also won an Atlantic Division title. Led by point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard DeMar DeRozan – and supported from the sidelines by famed Tornoto native and superstar rapper Drake -- the Raptors made their first appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. They faced the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers and took the series to six games before losing.
Last season, the Raptors finished with the third seed in the Eastern Conference. They went to the second round of the playoffs before losing to the Cavaliers for a second straight year. The Raptors have made the playoffs a franchise-high four seasons in a row.
The Raptors figure to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference next season. Lowry and DeRozan both set career highs in points per game last year. Next season will be Serge Ibaka’s first full season with the Raptors, and the team also added C.J. Miles, who could start at small forward and is a major three-point threat, in free agency.