I want to thank you for writing this article. I’d been experimenting off-and-on for a couple months with similar approaches to incorporating Django with React when I came across your solution. After reading it over I was spurred into action and ended up creating a Django package that integrates create-react-app in a turnkey manner:
django-cra-helper - The missing piece of the Django + React puzzlegithub.com
Long story short, React development can be done in create-react-app, Django views can access these components either via the npm start liveserver or after compiling them with npm run build, and built React files get pulled in via Django’s collectstatic command with no muss or fuss so you can serve and access them just like any other static resource.
Anyway thank you again for taking the time to write this!