A new season, a new championship banner and a new team.
The Toronto Raptors are starting their quest for back-to-back titles Tuesday night with the tip-off of their season starting against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The team lost Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers shortly after the championship run.
But they aren’t the only players that won’t be returning this year which means there are a lot of new faces on the Raptors roster.
This summer, the Raptors selected Miami native Dewan Hernandez with the 59th draft pick in the 2019 NBA draft. This was the teams first draft pick since 2017 where they selected OG Anunoby.
“Just being drafted, period, I don’t care that I was picked 59th, it felt like I was drafted first,” Hernandez told CityNews. “I’m their first pick in a couple of years so that’s pretty great [and] getting drafted by a championship team … just to get drafted by them was pretty amazing. My feelings that night were pretty amazing and I still have those feelings sometimes.”
Before the tip-off on Tuesday night, fans will get to watch a historic moment for the team: the unveiling and raising of the championship banner. The players will also be receiving their rings.
“I’m going to be real happy watching those guys get their rings,” Hernandez said with a smile. “I saw how hard they had to work for it last year and to see them get their rings on opening night is going to be great. For me … that’s what I want to be one day. I want to getting my ring on opening day of the season so I am working towards that.”
You can watch the Raptors home opener on Sportsnet, starting at 8 p.m. EDT.