Opening night schedule
The Raptors tip off against the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena. Prior to that, the team will unfurl the 2019 NBA championship banner from the rafters, and players will be presented with diamond championship rings (fans attending will receive replica rings). The Pelicans will be playing minus star rookie Zion Williamson, who is out indefinitely because of an injured right knee. The NBA championship celebrations coincide with the start of the Raptors’ 25th anniversary season, which will see themed home games and artwork to commemorate the milestone.
In this First Person piece, Toronto fan Matthew Clademenos writes about the hold the Raptors have on his heart, and what the team means to his family.
How they spent the summer
The Larry O’Brien Trophy has travelled around the world since the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto last June. From Cameroon to Philadelphia to the beaches of Hawaii, the reigning NBA champs have been sharing their hard-earned hardware with the people and places that helped shape them.
Cathal Kelly writes that after a feverish spring playoff run when Canadians embraced basketball, things have cooled as the best teams in the Eastern Conference have gotten better. A lot of hopes are pinned on Pascal Siakam, who on Monday signed a four-year contract worth US$130-million maximum. OG Anunoby, meanwhile, spent the playoffs dealing with the aftermath of a ruptured appendix, and Tuesday’s much-anticipated season opener will be his first NBA game in more than six months.
Who’s on the roster
Recent signings include Kyle Lowry for a one-year extension (“It’s a place I wanted to be. It’s a place I’ve been most successful in my career. I think it works on both sides," Lowry said), guard Matt Morgan and a four-year extension for Pascal Siakam. The current roster:
- OG Anunoby, Forward
- Chris Boucher, Forward
- Oshae Brissett, Forward
- Terence Davis, Guard
- Nando De Colo, Guard
- Marc Gasol, Centre
- Dewan Hernandez, Forward
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Forward
- Serge Ibaka, Forward
- Stanley Johnson, Forward
- Kyle Lowry, Guard
- Patrick McCaw, Guard
- Malcolm Miller, Forward
- Norman Powell, Guard
- Pascal Siakam, Forward
- Matt Thomas, Guard
- Fred VanVleet, Guard
Around the NBA
Kawhi Leonard gets hero’s welcome from Canadian fans
On Thursday, Kawhi Leonard made his Canadian homecoming with the Los Angeles Clippers for a preseason game in Vancouver. “Just going around in the summer time, even after me signing with the Clippers, Canadians came up to me and they said thank you for everything I’ve done,” the reigning NBA Finals MVP said after the game against the Dallas Mavericks. “They’re very nice people.”
Bucks, 76ers eye East title with Leonard back in the West
After Kawhi Leonard went back to the Western Conference, that left the Raptors weakened and the Bucks and 76ers looking like the favourites to represent the East in the NBA Finals – where perhaps they’d have to deal with Leonard again.