A bit of expected, but still heartwarming news dropped from the Raptors 905 Twitter account today. G-League basketball is on its way back to Mississauga after a year and a half. Here’s the team’s full schedule in social graphic form, beginning with a pair of home games against the Westchester Knicks on November 11th and 12th:
Considering that we’ve seen the Raptors, Blue Jays, TFC and more granted access to play home games in Canada, the 905’s return announcement is something of a formality. But with yesterday’s news drop from Shams Charania that the new Mexico City G-League team will be forced to play its home games in the U.S. this year, it’s a bit of a relief to know there will be no such inconvenience for the Raptors’ development incubator.
The lack of a full G-League season last year was just another item on a healthy list of reasons why the Raptors were the NBA franchise hardest hit by the pandemic. Toronto is of course known for its propensity for turning G-League dudes into well-paid NBA regulars or better, and with only a disjointed bubble season at Disney during which most of the team’s key prospects were hurt or thrust into big club duty as COVID decimated the roster, the team was not able to operate as it would typically like to at the G-League level.
That head coach Patrick Mutumbo will get a full season to work with his group would be a nice thing on its own, but it’s doubly exciting because of how much the Raptors’ figure to be back up to their old developmental ways this season, with second rounders David Johnson and Dalano Banton, as well as two-way signing Justin Champagnie all in line to receive significant run with the 905. With the main club hopefully being in less dire need of warm bodies to soak up minutes, this year’s 905 campaign should more closely resemble some of the more successful season’s the franchise has put together since joining the G-League.
Now, we wait for Bruno Caboclo to announce he’s coming home.