The Toronto Raptors will open Season No. 29 at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 25. We the North, indeed.
It will be the lone visit to Canada for one of the West’s up-and-coming powers, who are led by Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, and will serve as the first test of the Darko Rajakovic era.
Toronto will then hit the road for Chicago, looking for some revenge on the heels of a season-ending collapse in a home play-in game against DeMar DeRozan (and his daughter) and the Bulls.
Another reunion will then be on tap, with championship-winning head coach Nick Nurse returning to town on Oct. 28 in his new role running the Philadelphia 76ers. Whether disgruntled former league MVP James Harden joins him is still to be determined.
Rajakovic succeeded Nurse as the 10th head coach in franchise history earlier his summer.
This will be the 23rd time Toronto has started the season at home and the 12th straight.
Toronto’s longest trips will be a pair of six-game slogs, both beginning in January. The first will be over 10 days, the second over 11.
The longest homestand of the season will be five games, from Feb. 9-22, broken up by the all-star break.
The schedule only includes 80 games, instead of the standard 82, owing to the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. The two remaining games will be played the week of Dec. 4 and will be released following the conclusion of group play.
Wednesdays will be the busiest day of the season, with 20 games scheduled.
Toronto’s schedule features one U.S. national television appearance on TNT when the Raptors host Chicago on Jan. 18.
The team will play 14 back-to-back sets, two more than last season.
The Raptors will gather on Oct. 2 in Toronto for medicals and media day before heading to Vancouver for training camp ahead of the exhibition opener in B.C. vs. Sacramento on Oct. 8.
The NBA season will open Oct. 24 with reigning champion Denver Nuggets, featuring Canadian Jamal Murray, hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, and Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors hosting former teammate Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns.
The NBA’s Christmas slate includes the New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks and Nuggets vs. Warriors.
Other key dates include the Oct. 25 debut of No. 1 overall San Antonio pick Victor Wembanyama. His Spurs will welcome Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. James and Durant will face off for the first time since 2018 on Oct. 26 when the Suns head to Los Angeles.
The league’s new in-season tournament opens Nov. 3 and concludes on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas.
The most recent NBA champions are Denver, Golden State, Milwaukee and the Lakers. Miami has made the NBA finals twice since then and played the Celtics in the past two Eastern Conference finals, while the West has been more wide open.
What to expect from NBA’s new tournament, how it affects the Raptors
Raptors returning to Vancouver for training camp in October
Other key Raptors home dates
- The only visit by Kitchener’s Murray, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Dec. 20.
- The lone appearance by James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 2, 2024. James has not played here since March of 2022.
- Canadian superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the intriguing Oklahoma City Thunder visit on March 22.
- The return of Fred VanVleet, now with the Houston Rockets, is on Feb. 9.
- The powerhouse Phoenix Suns, featuring Devin Booker, Durant and now Bradley Beal, are here on Nov. 29.
- The first Canadian appearance of phenom Wembanyama should be when San Antonio comes to Toronto on Feb. 12.
- The only Kyle Lowry return game this season (barring a trade), is when Miami heads north on Jan. 17.
- And perhaps, if he’s healthy, another Kawhi Leonard reunion, when the Clippers visit on Jan. 26.