All Toronto Raptors fans seemingly want for Christmas every year is to watch their team play.
They’re going to have to wait at least another year.
The Raptors won’t be featured in the NBA’s annual quintuple-header. Instead, the Christmas Day schedule will be highlighted by LeBron James and the new-look Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Golden State Warriors. In the four other matchups, the Milwaukee Bucks will head to Madison Square Garden for a date with the New York Knicks; Carmelo Anthony will look to play Grinch against his old club as the Houston Rockets take on the Oklahoma City Thunder; the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will clash in a battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights; and the Utah Jazz will host the Portland Trail Blazers to close out the festivities.
Toronto made one of the biggest splashes of the off-season when it traded franchise icon DeMar DeRozan, centre Jakob Poeltl and a draft pick to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. A blockbuster of that magnitude figured to at least put the Raptors on the radar for a Christmas showdown, but it looks like they still didn’t make the cut.
A scorned DeRozan returning to Toronto on one of the league’s biggest stages would have made for a compelling storyline. Similarly, Leonard spending Christmas at AT&T Center against the team he requested a trade from would have been first-rate entertainment.