Raptors could open playoffs in Vegas


When the NBA season came to an abrupt halt just over three weeks ago, the Toronto Raptors were sitting in the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, 7.5 games up on the fifth seeded Pacers, with home field advantage all but clinched in the first two rounds.

And yet, the Raptors may be in store for a road trip to open the 2020 NBA playoffs as the league contemplates moving the entire playoffs to Las Vegas, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported Thursday.

"Quarantining in one location is the only solution, and Vegas is the only city the NBA is currently giving any kind of serious consideration," Mannix reported.

Though the league is reportedly nowhere close to finalizing the move, a league source told Mannix that "nothing is off the table."

The idea would involve flying hundreds of players, team personnel and broadcasters out to Vegas and putting them up in hotels for a few weeks as the league tries to play games in a secure location.

It would be a drastic and unorthodox measure, but one that would allow the league to try to recoup some revenue as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

While playing away from home wouldn't be favourable for Toronto, the Raptors went 23-9 on the road this season — the third best road record in the NBA behind the Lakers and Bucks — and likely wouldn't be the most harmed by the move.

Ultimately though, the idea still seems like a bit of a pipe dream and the NBA playoffs still seem to be a long ways away.