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Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The NBA's Toronto Raptors would love to play next season at home, but with travel between the U.S. and Canada currently restricted — including a 14-day quarantine — they're weighing a temporary U.S. residence.

The state of play: The NBA season is expected to start on Dec. 22, and a surge in positive cases in the U.S. means travel restrictions could remain for a while.

  • The MLB's Blue Jays dealt with the same problem, ultimately playing home games at Buffalo's Sahlen Field, a minor league ballpark.

Multiple options are being discussed, with two candidates emerging as early frontrunners:

  • Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.): This one makes a lot of sense given its proximity to the Raptors' divisional foes (Celtics, Sixers, Knicks, Nets). Limiting travel cuts costs, and I don't need to tell you how important that is this year.
  • T-Mobile Center (Kansas City, Mo.): K.C.'s mayor has been aggressively lobbying to host the Raptors, hoping to rekindle the city's relationship with professional basketball (the Kings played there in the '70s and '80s). Even Patrick Mahomes is lending his voice to the effort.

Elsewhere: This is a big country with hundreds of NBA-ready arenas. Where else could the Raptors land? A few particularly good options:

  • KeyBank Center (Buffalo, N.Y.): A stone's throw from the Raptors' actual home, they could follow the Blue Jays' lead and just head to Toronto south.
  • Amalie Arena (Tampa, Fla.): The 2019 NBA champion playing alongside the 2020 Stanley Cup champion? Love it.
  • Barclays Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.): If the Lakers and Clippers can share Staples Center, the Nets and Raptors can do the same.

The bottom line: The decision will likely come down to money, which includes travel costs and local TV markets. Seven weeks left — the clock's ticking.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

WH coronavirus task force: States must "flatten the curve" to sustain health system

A walk-up Covid-19 testing site in San Fernando, California, on Nov. 24, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The White House coronavirus task force warned states "the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high" and to brace for another surge following Thanksgiving, per a report that emerged Wednesday.

Driving the news: "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household," said the report, dated Nov. 29, first published by the Center for Public Integrity.

18 hours ago - Health

Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take coronavirus vaccine in public

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 2017. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Barack Obama said during an interview on SiriusXM airing Thursday he'll take the COVID-19 vaccine and "may end up taking it on TV." Representatives for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton told CNN they'd also be willing to be inoculated in public.

Why it matters: The former presidents are hoping to instill confidence in the vaccines once authorized for use in the U.S. NIAID director Anthony Fauci has said the U.S. could have herd immunity by the end of next summer or fall if enough people get vaccinated.

21 hours ago - World

Azar's UN remarks to take aim at China

Alex Azar during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is expected to give a speech at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday that hails U.S. progress on coronavirus vaccines while criticizing — though not directly naming — China.

Why it matters: U.S. government officials are concerned that China will use the UN special session to spread disinformation about the origins of the virus and China's early missteps in handling the pandemic.