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Report: Raptors only NBA team to begin training outside home city

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) moves to the basket past Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jordan McLaughlin (6) and Minnesota Timberwolves centre Naz Reid (11) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Toronto Raptors will be the only NBA team that will begin Phase 1 of the league’s return-to-play plan outside of their home city, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reports.

As part of Phase 1, players will begin reporting to their home facilities for individual workouts. The Raptors will instead report directly to Florida due to “quarantine and travel issues in Canada” according to Charania, who obtained an NBPA document titled ‘Life inside the Bubble.’

Charania reports the Raptors will train at Alico Arena at Florida Gulf Coast University in Naples, Fla., but a statement from the team provided to Sportsnet’s Steven Loung reads “That is one option we’re looking at — that plan is not fully confirmed yet.”

Phase 2, which begins June 23 with mandatory testing for all players and staff, will see players continue to train on their own in team facilities, while Phase 3 will add coaches to those individual workouts.

All teams will then travel to Orlando between July 7 and 9 for Phase 4. Once in Florida, all players and staff will be required to self-isolate for 24 hours and have two negative tests before participating in the second part of Phase 4, which includes full-team workouts.

Phase 5 from June 22-29 will feature each team playing three scrimmages against other teams. Phase 6 will be the resuming of regular season play, beginning on July 30 with each team playing eight more games to determine playoff seeding. The NBA champion is expected to be crowned in early October.

The ‘Life inside the Bubble’ document also includes details about what type of testing will be conducted, plans for meals and social time and rules permitting players to opt-out of participating if they don’t feel comfortable playing or have health risks.