The Toronto Raptors might actually return to play playoff games in Toronto this year.
While Orlando and Vegas still seem like frontrunners as the destination for an NBA return this year, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly mentioned Toronto as a potential bubble city, Yahoo’s Chris Haynes told Sportsnet’s Tim & Sid.
“(Silver) mentioned Toronto in that conference call… He said Toronto is an option, but he said he would like to keep the season in the States, but he’s not ruling out Toronto,” Haynes told Sportsnet.
With a population of nearly 3 million, Toronto has more than enough room to host the NBA world. The decision, of course, will have to be based on safety. Right now Ontario is under a state of emergency until June 2. At the municipal level, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced on March 31 that Toronto will not hold any large city events until June 30. While the NBA would not have to adhere to Tory’s June 30 date, it seems unlikely that the league would go against the city’s ordinance.
That being said, the Raptors made some NBA news last week when the team announced it would re-open the OVO Athletic Centre on a restricted basis. The news came as the league began re-opening athletic facilities where stay-at-home orders have been lifted.
As of May 13, Canada has conducted nearly 1.2 million COVID-19 tests with 460 thousand of those coming in Ontario, according to the Government of Canada. The United States has conducted nearly 10 million COVID-19 tests with almost 600 thousand of those coming in Florida and another 66 thousand in Nevada, according to John’s Hopkins.