Even as the NBA season heads into its final week, the Toronto Raptors' Tampa nightmare isn't coming to an end quite yet.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he plans to stay in Tampa for a little while longer after the season is over in order to conduct exit interviews and help the team prepare for the NBA draft.
"All that stuff will stay here," Nurse said. "I don't see any movement north for quite some time yet."
The Raptors had been working with the Canadian government prior to the 2020-21 season in order to find a way to permit both the team and opposing teams to travel back and forth across the Canadian-U.S. border freely. At first the team was planning just to spend the first half of their season south of the border, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continued it became clear that no return was going to happen this season for the Raptors.
For now, no decision has been made regarding next season for the Raptors, but a decision will reportedly need to be made soon, according to The Athletic's Blake Murphy.
The team tried to make things work last season right up until the pre-season began before announcing the move to Tampa and that will not be repeated next season, according to Murphy.
The NBA has yet to make any announcements regarding what the 2021-22 season will look like, but commissioner Adam Silver said he's "fairly optimistic" things will look relatively back to normal.
“Maybe for the first time in the past year,” Silver said, in a virtual news conference, “I’m fairly optimistic that as we see fans returning to our arenas, as we see public health officials across the country begin to open up sporting events, theaters, restaurants, other forms of entertainment, I feel pretty good that we’re going to continue apace.”
The Canadian-U.S. border continues to remain restricted and anyone flying into Canada must quarantine in a hotel for three days and obey the country's 14-day mandatory quarantine laws.