Nick Nurse to take over at Raptors Helm
The Toronto Raptors appear to have found their next head coach.
According to league sources, Nick Nurse will fill the vacant position.
Nurse has been an assistant coach in Toronto since 2013. Prior to that, he coached in the G League, winning two championships and a coach of the year award.
Nurse replaces Dwane Casey, who was fired after a 2nd consecutive second-round loss to Cleveland, despite leading the team to a franchise-best 59 wins.
Gersson Rosas, a Rockets executive who oversaw Nurse’s G League Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has spoken highly of the Raptors’ next coach, describing him as someone who “sees where the NBA is going.”
“His diverse experience having coached in Europe, having coached in the G League, and in the NBA as an assistant prepares him well for that,” continued Rosas. “His approach and creativity is very balanced both defensively and offensively. I think he’s a critical thinker who looks at problems and looks at creative ways to solve them in a very non-traditional way, which is good for the league and will be good for the Raptors.”
“Philosophically, he’s where the modern NBA is at.”
Indeed, it is Nurse who is considered largely responsible for instituting Toronto’s systemic shift towards a more contemporary offence predicated on ball-movement and 3-pointers. Promoting him, therefore, could be considered a continuation in the direction that the Raptors have been moving in, rather than an attempt to tear down and start anew.
Judging by the hiring of Nurse, it appears that Toronto is choosing familiarity with the team’s players and its system, and will continue to strive to contend.