We're learning more about what the NBA restart is going to look like for Toronto's ballers. The Toronto Raptors' season currently looks set to get going again along with the rest of the league in July. And it sounds like they'll be arriving in Florida this week.
The NBA's plan to restart/finish the season at its new temporary hub at Walt Disney World has been a worker for some time now.
But it sounds like the Raps will arrive in the southern state a couple of weeks before other teams because, well, they've not really got anywhere else to go right now.
According to The Athletic on June 16, the NBA sent all of its players a detailed memo about restarting play on Tuesday.
And there's a specific note for the Raptors, Canada's sole participant.
Phases 1 through 3 mandate that players must return to their team's home facilities for testing and isolation.
Toronto is the only team this doesn't apply to. Cross-border travel between Canada and the United States is prohibited by federal order until mid-July at the earliest.
Even if they could travel, they'd have to quarantine on both sides before and after crossing the border, so coming back to Toronto wouldn't seem to make any sense anyway.
Instead, the reigning champs will head straight to the Alico Arena at Florida Gulf Coast University in Naples, Fla.
Sources: NBA players were informed today that the Toronto Raptors will be the lone NBA team that will travel to Flo… https://t.co/x3ydT1d9Vw— Shams Charania (@Shams Charania)1592344011.0
Per TSN's Josh Lewenberg, the Raptors are expected to arrive there a week today, on June 23.
There, they'll be pretty much locked down until the season gets back underway, amid the state's spiking COVID-19 case count.
The memo notes that players will be expected to remain at home and only leave for training or essential activities. That does include grocery shopping, which is good news for Chris Boucher, at least.
The Raptors will then stay pretty much locked down in Florida while other teams continue to practice in their home cities.
It's only expected to be July 7-9 when other teams will arrive in Florida. Then, the Toronto franchise will switch base to Disney World.
That means that the Raptors will likely be in the state for two weeks more than any other team (except Florida's own franchises, of course.)
At least they'll have each other to keep themselves company.