Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Hayward, Knicks, Vassell, Nets


An accelerated timeline for the start of the 2020/21 NBA season would reduce the likelihood of the Raptors being able to return to their home arena in Toronto. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are still significant restrictions on international travel from the U.S. to Canada and it seems unlikely that will change too drastically within the next two months.

With that in mind, Eric Koreen of The Athletic weighs the pros and cons of several possible temporary homes for the Raptors in 2020/21. While Louisville – briefly mentioned as a possibility last weekdoesn’t appear to be a realistic option, Koreen believes there are several other alternatives that could work.

Buffalo, Newark, Kansas City, and Fort Myers are some of the cities that might make sense for the Raptors, according to Koreen, who adds that sharing a home arena with one of the NBA’s other Eastern Conference teams could also be a possibility — especially since those arenas likely won’t be hosting concerts or other major events anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Although it seems likely that Gordon Hayward will opt into the final year of his $34MM contract with the Celtics, agent Mark Bartelstein figures to do his homework and quietly survey the landscape to determine whether there’s a scenario in which Hayward could secure a lucrative, longer-term deal in Boston or elsewhere, writes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Zach Lowe discussed that possibility on The Lowe Post podcast on Monday, likening Hayward’s situation to that of Al Horford a year ago, as John Karalis of relays.
  • A team tracking Devin Vassell told Ian Begley of that the Knicks are collecting “a ton” of information on the former Florida State wing. The Knicks are one of several teams in the top 10 of the draft with Vassell on their radar, says Begley.
  • Brian Lewis of The New York Post identifies former Arkansas sharpshooter Isaiah Joe as a draft sleeper who may be of interest to the Nets. Joe is the No. 48 prospect on ESPN’s big board, while Brooklyn holds the Nos. 19 and 55 picks.