The Raptors entered the NBA in 1995 as an expansion team in the league's effort to expand into Canada and thus far, the squad has secured five playoff appearances and one division title. While the Raptors have yet to qualify for the conference finals, the team has made some noise in the postseason in recent years.
The 1999-00 season was the first year the Raptors made the playoffs, when the team's roster boasted a number of notable names such as Charles Oakley, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and Antonio Davis. However, although this mixture of young talent and proven veterans got the Raptors into the tournament, they were eventually knocked out by the playoff-tested New York Knicks in three games.
It was just one year later that the Raptors won their first playoff series during the 2000-01 season, thanks to Carter's stellar play and the veteran presence of future Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. They even got their revenge against the New York Knicks and won their opening series in five games. In the second round, however, they pressed the Philadelphia 76ers to a seventh game, but fell in heartbreaking fashion.
The team would return to the playoffs during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, but both times they were unable to break through to the finals. However, with the recent trade for Peja Stojakovic and Jerryd Bayless, as well as drafting Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas, the Raptors have a solid foundation of young talent to secure a bright future.
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