Leiweke: Raptors D-League team coming to GTA

The Toronto Raptors will reportedly have a GTA-based D-League team in place for the 2015-16 season. (Galit Rodan/CP)

It’s long been known that to better develop their young players and to further capitalize on the astronomical growth of basketball in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Raptors needed to have their own NBA D-League affiliate.

The Bruno Caboclo experiment this season only further emphasized this, with the team sending the Brazilian rookie to its current D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (whom they share with more than 10 NBA teams), only to see him spend long stretches on the bench, no better for his demotion despite it being in the name of “development.”

Well looks like that won’t be an issue anymore. During the press conference unveiling the logo for the 2016 NBA All-Star game in Toronto, MLSE President Tim Leiweke also unveiled the bombshell that the Raptors would be getting their own D-League team in place for the start of the 2015-16 season.

At his season-ending presser, Masai Ujiri- who appeared on Free Association before the playoffs and campaigned for Toronto’s own farm club- said the Raptors and MLSE had been approved to purchase a D-League franchise, though at the time further details were unknown.

The new D-League club coincides with the construction of the Raptors new training facility on the CNE grounds by Lake Ontario, which is currently under construction, though the team may have to find temporary lodgings until it’s ready for use.

No word yet on details such as the team’s name. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make some up. Now seems like a great opportunity to finally bring back the Huskies for good. What do you think the team should be called? Let us know in the comments below.

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