The Raptors are fighting hard to stay in Toronto during the 2020-21 season, league sources told The Post.
Two weeks ago, The Athletic reported the possibility that the Raptors could move to Newark’s Prudential Center due to Canada’s strict quarantine rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other possible landing spots include sharing the Barclays Center with the Nets or playing in Kansas City, Missouri, Seattle, or the Tampa Bay area.
According to sources, these sites, including Newark, are far fetched and the odds of staying in Toronto are still on the table.
According to sources, the NBA is working with governments in Canada and the United States to come up with new guidelines that will allow visiting teams to travel to and play in Toronto.
The Blue Jays were playing in Buffalo during their recently completed MLB season when the Canadian federal government banned them from hosting games at the Rogers Center.
Despite spikes in positive cases, the Raptors’ high priority remains at Scotiabank Arena this season. The Raptors became a national treasure when team president Masai Ujiri’s club won its first NBA championship against the Warriors in 2019.
The NBA is working out a reduced schedule for 72 games with fewer overland travel that would begin on December 22nd. The latest variant tries to allow 25 percent of the arena’s suites for fans.
If the Raptors stay in Toronto, there’s a good chance that fans will still not be allowed into the arena for games.
One option, according to sources, is government-sponsored COVID-19 testing at Toronto Airport for visiting teams on arrival.
Playing in Newark would create a scenario where a visiting team in the New York area could play three clubs at once – the Knicks, the Nets, and the Raptors – without boarding a flight.
The new schedule is expected to put a lot of emphasis on the division competitions. The Knicks, Nets, and Raptors are all in the Atlantic Division.
However, the Newark scenario remains unlikely, sources said.