Though the Raptors prefer to host their home games for the 2020/21 season in Toronto, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca notes that the decision will ultimately be made by the Canadian government. The federal officials at the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Ottawa Citizenship, who oversee travel regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic, may hesitate to make a special exemption on extant 14-day quarantine requirements for new arrivals into the country just to accommodate visiting U.S.-based NBA personnel.
With the draft and free agency scheduled for next week, plus an expected lift on the current pause on trades, time is running out for Raptors ownership to keep Toronto in Toronto.
Nashville, Tampa, Kansas City, Buffalo and Newark have all been floated as stateside alternative options for Toronto set up shop this season, per Grange and Eric Koreen of The Athletic. “Our focus is on playing in Toronto,” a team spokesperson said yesterday, per Koreen.
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, one of the top free agents during the 2020 offseason, stated on J.J. Redick and Tommy Alter’s podcast The Old Man And The Three that money will be important in his offseason decision-making. He elaborated on the matter, per Joshua Howe of Sportsnet.ca. “I’m trying to get paid, man,” VanVleet said. “I won a championship and now it’s time to cash out.”
- Celtics center Vincent Poirier is hoping for a larger role in Boston this season. Keith P Smith of Celtics Blog breaks down a conversation between Poirier and French outlet We Sport. “I don’t know where I’ll be,” Poirier said, “but in my head it’s obvious that I’m not doing one more season at the end of the bench to applaud.”
- Brooklyn native Obi Toppin has worked out for four squads: the Timberwolves, the Hornets, the Cavaliers, and his hometown Knicks. Though New York has the lowest draft pick among these squads, the club is apparently hopeful to add the 6’9″ forward on November 18, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “They have a great organization,” Toppin commented during a Zoom chat today. “It would be great to go home. But there’s a lot of teams that are in front of them that would be great, too.”