Report: Battle of L.A. and defending champs to tip off 2019-20 season
Mark Blinch / National Basketball Association / Getty

The NBA will open the 2019-20 season on Oct. 22 with the Los Angeles Lakers squaring off against the Los Angeles Clippers, and the defending champion Toronto Raptors taking on the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

Kawhi Leonard will make his Clippers debut against one of the clubs that pursued him this summer. If Paul George is healthy, the matchup could feature two of the Association's best duos in Leonard and George versus LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Both teams are also reportedly squaring off at Staples Center on Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, rookie phenom Zion Williamson will make his much-anticipated regular-season debut against the Raptors. The No. 1 overall pick was limited to nine minutes of summer league action due to a knee bruise suffered in his first game.

Toronto will begin its 25th season fresh off the franchise's first NBA title. Leonard led the Raptors past the Golden State Warriors in The Finals during his lone season north of the border.

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Report: Battle of L.A. and defending champs to tip off 2019-20 season
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