Why does nobody want to play in Canada?


Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors: Downtown Toronto (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Even with the recent success and overwhelming fan support, the Toronto Raptors still have trouble attracting free agents. Many people know this to be the case, but what has rarely been discussed is why?

The Toronto Raptors are one of the best teams in the league when it comes to fan support and team success finishing in the top four in the conference for four years straight. In addition to all of this, many people recognize Toronto as one of the best places to visit among other cities in the NBA. Even with almost everything in their favour, the Toronto Raptors have not been able to attract star free agents.

This is not about the players who have left after their feuds with management or players who have simply wanted a better chance at winning a championship. Recently, former Raptor players have mentioned certain issues that they faced playing for the franchise. One was Lou Williams who mentioned feeling away from home after a couple of months. A couple of days ago, it was Vince Carter who brought up the trouble he had trying to recruit players, specifically Shaquille O’Neal, to play for Toronto.

There are other factors that have played a role in NBA players leaving Toronto or passing on coming to play for the franchise. The education is different, travel is difficult, the situation with taxes is one of the more pressing issues and it’s very hard to ignore the weather.

When discussing the dilemma of getting players to stay in Toronto, it is important to look at the history behind trying to attract free agents, how it has gotten better or worse over the years and ways for the Toronto Raptors to get past these obstacles with 2021 free agency approaching.