Newark has a waiting arena and is geographically close to other teams in the Atlantic division. Tampa Bay has been mentioned. Nashville is reportedly still in the mix. Buffalo and Seattle have come up as possibilities. Kansas City was mentioned, but civil rights groups in the city warned the NBA about the city’s atmosphere. Louisville is out.
None of that may matter — the Raptors and NBA are still working to keep the team’s games in Toronto.
That was true weeks ago and it is still the focus of the team and league’s efforts, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
According to sources, those sites, including Newark, are long shots, and the likelihood of remaining in Toronto still is very much on the table.
According to sources, the NBA is working with governments in both Canada and the United States to come up with new guidelines that would make it feasible for visiting teams to travel to and play in Toronto.
While there has been a bump in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Canada and, in particular, Ontario, it is nothing compared to the spike seen in the United States in recent days.
The ability to play in Toronto will hinge on the availability of rapid testing for teams that come north of the border, and a change in Canadian policy on quarantining when entering the nation. That is what the NBA is working on with the Canadian government.
It all just has to happen on an accelerated timeline, with the Dec. 22 start to the season just more than a month away.