Say hey to the Tampa Raptors! The Toronto Raptors will start the 72-game 2020-21 NBA season in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Canadian authorities put in journey restrictions in the course of the pandemic, forcing the Raptors to scramble to discover a short-term house base in the United States.
Canada requires all touring events to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the nation.
“Ultimately, the present public well being scenario dealing with Canadians, mixed with the pressing want to decide the place we are going to play means that we are going to start our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida,” stated Raptors president Masai Ujiri.
The Raptors hope that Canada will raise journey restrictions in the course of the season to allow them to play house video games in Toronto on the Scotiabank Arena. The workforce final performed a sport in Canada on Feb. 28. The Raptors had been in the center of a street journey when Rudy Gobert examined constructive for Corona Virus and the league shuttered the following day.
“They’re our Raptors, and Tampa Bay shouldn’t get any concepts in that regard,” joked Toronto mayor John Tory.
The Raptors will share Amalie Arena with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who’re the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Toronto Raptors thought of Buffalo, Hartford, Seattle, Louisville, Newark, Nashville, and Providence as potential short-term properties.
Members of the Raptors voted and Tampa Bay received with probably the most votes.
“They say absence makes the center develop fonder,” stated Ujiri. “I’m undecided that’s potential for us. We love Toronto and Canada, and we all know we now have the most effective followers in the NBA. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look ahead to the day we’re all collectively once more.”
Raptors Still Contenders in Tampa Bay?
The Raptors received the NBA championship final yr. They had been knocked off in the Eastern Conference semifinals this previous season after Kawhi Leonard departed from the workforce and signed a free-agent take care of the LA Clippers.
Fred VanVleet not too long ago resigned with the Raptors, regardless of the actual fact the New York Knicks closely courted the capturing guard. VanVleet signed a four-year deal price $84 million.
The Raptors not too long ago plugged holes on the middle place after Marc Gasol departed in free company. Gasol signed with the Lakers, the place his older brother as soon as performed.
Toronto signed Aron Baynes to a two-year deal price $14.three million. They additionally added backup middle Alex Len for $2.three million a season.
According to a current replace by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the Raptors are 20/1 odds to win the following NBA championship. They are the fifth-highest workforce from the Eastern Conference on the futures board.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the second favourite general and highest workforce from the east at 11/2 odds. The Brooklyn Nets are 6/1 odds to win the title, adopted by the Boston Celtics at 13/1 odds and Miami Heat at 15/1 odds.
How About the NHL, Eh?
North American sports activities leagues are in a pinch proper now to discover various areas in America for Canadian franchises.
There’s no official phrase but on the way forward for the NHL season. The NHL restart occurred with two bubble cities in safe zones. The Eastern Conference performed its postseason in Toronto. The Western Conference performed the NHL postseason in Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Finals had been additionally hosted in Edmonton.
Just earlier than the MLB restarted in August, Canadian well being officers denied the Toronto Blue Jays and their opponents the flexibility to fly in and out of Canada to full the baseball season. The Blue Jays tried to discover another ballpark and thought of sharing a stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Blue Jays settled on Buffalo, which is the closest US metropolis in proximity to Toronto.
The NHL would love to begin the following season on January 1 with its annual outside winter sport.