Holly MacKenzie- A season ago the Toronto Raptors unveiled their own D-League team with Raptors 905 in Mississauga. Despite being in just its second season, Raptors 905 currently lead the D-League Eastern Conference with a 16-7 record. Head coach Jerry Stackhouse won the D-League coach of the month award for games played in December. He led the team to a 9-3 record in December, including a streak of seven straight wins. The team has an exciting week ahead as it will play host to the 2017 NBA D-League Showcase at the Hershey Centre.
In addition to announcing Raptors 905 last season, the Toronto Raptors also hosted NBA All-Star Weekend. It was the first time the event was held outside of the United States as Toronto’s backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan represented the team and the city served as the centre of the basketball universe for the weekend. Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke about the opportunity to host this year’s D-League Showcase a year after getting to serve as All-Star host.
“We are honored and excited to be the host team for the 2017 D-League Showcase,” said Raptors President Masai Ujiri. “Following last year’s successful NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, we are eager to assist the League with the premier event for the D-League, its teams and players.”
D-League president Malcolm Tuner also spoke on the 2017 NBA Development League Showcase being held in Toronto.
“We’re thrilled to bring the NBA D-League’s tentpole event to Mississauga and the Hershey Centre,” Turner said. “It’s always inspiring to watch our players put their skills on display in front of scouts from all 30 NBA teams and I’m looking forward to being part of the action as the basketball community’s focus shifts to Canada in January.”
Here’s what you need to know about what’s going down from Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 in Mississauga.
– The Showcase is a five-day event of all-day games that provide an opportunity for NBA scouts and coaching staffs to to check out D-League talent they might not have a regular window to see.
– Over the five days of action, there will be 22 D-League games taking place. For those not in or near Mississauga, NBATV will be airing many of those games if you’re interested in checking out the action. A record 14 games will be televised live on NBATV and ESPNU.
– The event tips off with the Windy City Bulls taking on the Delaware 87ers on Wednesday Jan. 18 at 10 A.M. ET. Raptors 905 will play its first game of the Showcase on Wednesday at 12:30 P.M. ET when they face Grand Rapids Drive. Raptors 905 will also go to work on Friday when they face the Long Island Nets at 8:30 P.M. ET.
– The timing of the Showcase is crucial for players hoping to get called up to the NBA. Jan. 5 marked the beginning of teams being able to offer 10-day contracts to players. Former Raptor Quincy Acy is one of four players to receive a call up and a 10-day contract (with the Brooklyn Nets) in that period.
– The Showcase has seen more than 50 D-Leaguers earn call ups to the NBA during the days of, or immediately following, the previous 12 events.
– Away from D-League games, the Showcase also seeks to incorporate youth-focused programming throughout the week, including two Jr. NBA Clinics presented by Shock Doctor, the official mouthguard of the NBA D-League. More than 100 children from the Ontario community will attend the clinics as well as be given tickets to that evening’s game.
– If you’re interested in attending the Showcase, tickets will be sold individually for groups and in packages for fans. To view seating maps and a breakdown of ticket tiers and packages as well as other information on Showcase tickets, check out the Raptors 905 website at http://raptors905.dleague.nba.com/showcase/