The Toronto Raptors flopped during their forced exile from Canada, as their temporary home in Tampa did little to provide them with an environment conducive to winning. After one year apart, the page has been turned, and the release of the 2021 Raptors preseason schedule has hope springing eternal once again.
The Raptors aren’t projected to be a championship contender, and Masai Ujiri himself has warned about the fact that Toronto is going to experience some growing pains, but that doesn’t change the notion that this team is equipped to compete for a spot in the postseason.
The Raptors still have a solid star duo in Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam with the impending OG Anunoby breakout likely to supplement their scoring punch, so expect that combination of talent to work to great effect in the regular season.
Before Toronto can embark on such grandiose goals, they need to make sure that they get some of their issues ironed out in training camp and the preseason. Luckily, the start date for both of those milestones is right around the corner.
Toronto Raptors training camp starts September 27
Media day will be the 28th of September, per Sportsnet. After an offseason that has seen some impactful players from the last few seasons bite the dust, it will be very interesting to see what some of the senior members of the team and new arrivals have to say about the squad’s chances in 2021-22.
While their October 20 matchup against the Washington Wizards might serve as the Raptors’ regular-season return to Toronto, they’ll cut their teeth with a handful of preseason games at Scotiabank Arena, including three straight games against divisional opponents.
Full Toronto Raptors preseason schedule
- Mon, Oct 4 vs Philadelphia 76ers
- Thu, Oct 7 at Philadelphia 76ers
- Sat, Oct 9 at Boston Celtics
- Mon, Oct 11 vs Houston Rockets
- Tues, Oct 12 at Washington Wizards
With six players on non-guaranteed contracts fighting for space and four players added via the 2021 NBA Draft as either draft picks or undrafted two-way players, Toronto should use these games as exploratory forums that help separate the players that could help the Raptors get back to their winning ways.
After opening the season against Washington and taking a brief detour to Boston, Toronto will embark upon a four-game homestand that will see them welcome Dallas, Chicago, Indiana, and Orlando to Canada. Time will tell if the moves that Ujiri made will get this team turned around.