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Toronto Raptors

Never knew these guys played for the Toronto Raptors? A trip down memory lane of some forgotten former Raptors

Let's face it. There's been a lot of - let's call them - new fans that have hopped on the Toronto Raptors' wave over the last 12 months.

No need to point fingers. We see them. We know who they are.

Seeing Toronto hoist the LOB last season did a lot for those who've always been around, the hardcore Raptors fan. It erased 23 years of failure and pain, but it now also allows many to look back on the lead up to the championship with the ability to laugh at the pain.

With that in mind, we thought it'd be cool to school the new fans and bring back some memories for the older ones by paying homage to some of the lesser-known Raptors, the ones who spent a cup of coffee with the organization, the ones who were washed up when they got to Toronto and the ones we simply forgot even donned the purple dino jersey.

Here are the 12 Raptors you may have forgotten about.

Shawn Marion

Who said Chris Bosh didn't have help? The Matrix came to Toronto from Miami in a deal that saw Jermaine O'Neal (yes, he was a Raptor too) go back in return.

Marion played 27 games for Toronto but the team missed out on the postseason. In the offseason, he was a part of a massive four-team trade that saw him go to Dallas and Hedo Turkoglu come to Toronto.

Chauncey Billups

Before he was Mr. Big Shot, Billups had 29 appearances with the Raptors.

After being selected third overall in the 1997 NBA Draft, Billups was traded in his rookie season to the Raptors for Kenny Anderson, Popeye Jones and Zan Tabak.

Imagine if RJ Barrett - the third overall pick in the past draft - had been traded this year in his rookie season. Craziness.

Peja Stojakovic

One of the most prolific shooters of the early 2000s came to the Raptors for the quickest cup of Timmies you'll ever see. Peja appeared in just two games for the Raps in 2010-11. Injuries kept him sidelined for the majority of his time in Toronto.

The Raps waived him in January of 2011, allowing him to sign with the Dallas Mavericks just in time to be a part of their championship run.

Marco Belinelli

Belinelli came to the Raptors in a trade with the Golden State Warriors for Devean George. I know what you're thinking - Devean George never played for the Raptors. You're right, he didn't. He came to the Raptors as a part of that huge Shawn Marion-Hedo Turkagulo deal but was traded just 20 days after for Belinelli.

Marco's time in Toronto was short but sweet, appearing in 66 games. The Raptors moved him to New Orleans in exchange for Julian Wright in the offseason.

Jared Sullinger

After four solid seasons in Boston, Sullinger came to the Raptors on a one-year, $6 million deal. That was the highlight of his time in Toronto, as an injury to his foot kept him sidelined and when he did step on the court he wasn't anywhere near the guy Toronto thought it was getting.

Sullinger played just 11 games with the Raptors before being traded and eventually finding himself out of the league.

P.J. Tucker

Before becoming the starting centre of the Houston Rockets, Tucker was just trying to find his way in the NBA.

Tucker was the 35th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Raptors. He appeared in just 17 games. He was assigned to the G League multiple times through the season and then was waived in March of 2007.

Tucker came back to the Raptors in 2017 after Phoenix traded him for Jared Sullinger. He appeared 24 games that year and left via free agency for the Rockets, where he's found a home.

Haywoode Workman

If you sent a tweet crushing the refs for a missed call against the Raptors, your anger may have been directed towards this former Raptor.

Workman spent eight seasons in the NBA but his last came in Toronto in 1999-00. Workman appeared in 13 games for the Dinos, getting one start. Workman became an NBA official in 2006-07. He was the third former player to do so with Bernie Fryer and Leon Wood.

Corliss Williamson

The Big Nasty came to the Raptors in the trade that sent Doug Christie to the Sacramento Kings. He didn't even last a full season in Toronto, as the Raptors shipped him off to Detroit for Eric Montross and fan favourite Jerome Junkyard Dog Williams.

Williamson appeared in just 42 games for the Raptors but went on to bigger and better things in Detroit, where he won Sixth Man of the Year in 2002 and an NBA title in 2004.

Rod Strickland

In his prime, Strickland was one of the best distributors in the NBA. However, by the time he got to the Raptors, he was way past his prime.

Strickland played just 15 games for Toronto, signing on late in the 2003-04 season to a team that was devastated by injury. The following year in Houston he played 16 games with the Rockets to finish up his NBA career.

John Salley

Spider goes down in history as the first NBA player to win three titles with three different teams and the first to win championships in three different decades. Tim Duncan has since joined him.

His former Bad Boys Pistons teammate Isiah Thomas had recruited Salley to Toronto in a mentorship role, but Salley felt he had more to offer and forced his way out of Toronto. It worked out for him, as he would join the 72-win Chicago Bulls en route to his third NBA title. He would win his fourth with the 2000 Shaq and Kobe Los Angeles Lakers.

Steve Novak

Novak played for nine different NBA teams, and - you guessed it - one of them was Toronto.

Novak appeared in 54 games for the Raps and shot 42.6% from 3-point range.

Fred Jones

It was a big deal when the Raptors signed Jones in the summer of 2006. I mean, he was the 2004 Slam Dunk champion!

Jones appeared in 39 games for the Raps before being dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers for Juan Dixon (yes, he played for the Raps too).

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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