The Toronto Raptors announced on Monday they had acquired the right to own and operate an NBA-League team.
The team, Raptors 905, will be the 19th NBA D-League team and play its home games at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, 25 miles from downtown Toronto. The Raptors are now the ninth NBA team to fully own and operate its own D-League affiliate.
Raptors 905 is named for Toronto’s area code. The city has produced seven current NBA players: Milwaukee Bucks guard Tyler Ennis, San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Bennett, Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson, Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins.
“We are thrilled to bring an NBA Development League team to basketball fans across the 905 region,” Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri said in a release. “Toronto Raptors president and general manager. “Raptors 905 will give our young players a great opportunity to develop and gain valuable experience, while providing high level, affordable basketball to the community.”
The other NBA franchises to own and operate D-League franchises are the Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks), Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers), San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs) and Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede).
The D-League was founded in 2001. This past season, a record 47 players received call-ups to the NBA.
- Mike Fiammetta