The Toronto Raptors will be moving south of the border to start the season as the Canadian government pulled the plug on having the team play at home.
It looks like the Toronto Raptors will be asking the Toronto Blue Jays for some advice about life on the road as they become the second professional team to go to Plan B for the upcoming season.
Fortunately for the Raptors, they were able to figure out a plan that gives them about a month to prepare for the start of the season, unlike the Blue Jays who were scrambling weeks before the season. Given the current state of Canada’s COVID-19 situation, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the government deny the team’s plan.
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While the NBA and Raptors might have come up with a strong plan for games to be played at Scotiabank Arena, there’s no denying the risk of allowing teams from the United States to come north considering how high their cases have been in comparison.
There are certainly some hurdles the team will have to overcome and president Masai Ujiri put his best foot forward in trying to make the case for Toronto. Instead, they will make to Saint Leo University and figure out a plan a private place to have practice while Sportsnet’s Michael Grange said the team is looking to use a hotel ballroom like most did in Orlando.
It’s not an easy situation when you consider the number of staff, players and coaches who will have to relocate and be away from their families for a long stretch of time. While the players are being compensated handsomely to play, it can’t be overlooked the fact that the support staff arent and they are making the same sacrifice.
The other thing to consider is how the news impacts the team’s free agency plans as some players might re-consider joining the Raptors if they feel the situation isn’t ideal for them. At the same time, this season is going to be different than any other considering the restrictions that will probably be in place.
It might not be the most ideal situation but Toronto can at least prepare for what they know and hopefully, the work they put into their Plan B option can help them with the transition.
What do you think about the decision to not play in Canada? Do you think playing in Tampa will have an impact on how the team operates? Let us know in the comments below.