The Raptors and Masai Ujiri have stayed quiet in their coaching search so far, but apparently they’ve finally found their guy. Toronto will reportedly be hiring Nick Nurse as their next coach. Nurse has been an assistant with the Raptors under former head coach Dwane Casey. When Casey was fired, however, Nurse was seen as a potential replacement option from within the franchise. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a three-year deal worth nearly $10 million.
Nurse has been an assistant with the Raptors since 2013. Before that, he was a coach in Europe and the G League. Before he was hired by the Raptors, Nurse’s name popped up in searches for previously vacant coaching jobs like the Magic.
The Raptors will hope that Nurse can achieve what Casey couldn’t and help Toronto take the next step. The Raptors have been a successful team for years now, but they’ve consistently failed to meet expectations in the playoffs. While Nurse was an assistant during that time frame, the hope is that a familiar voice with different ideas will be what the roster needs to make the jump to a true contender.
For some, this hire might be uninspiring. The Raptors fired a successful coach in Casey only to hire one of his assistants. That isn’t much of a change. However, the Raptors are building a culture in Toronto and Nurse can help continue that culture, thanks to being familiar with the organization. There’s value in that. Everybody will just have to wait and see if that was the correct decision.