Raptors pick assistant Nick Nurse as new head coach

Thoughts

The team and Nick Nurse are in the process of elevating Nurse from assistant under the deposed Dwane Casey to the top job, sources confirmed to Postmedia on Tuesday morning after an initial ESPN report. Nurse replaces Dwane Casey, who was sacked shortly after the Raptors were swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after that the Raptors are hiring Nurse, so consider it done. External candidates included San Antonio Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer (who was hired by the Milwaukee Bucks on May 17) and EuroLeague coach Sarunas Jasikevicius. Nurse has six seasons of head-coaching experience in the National Basketball Association G League, where he won two championships and a coach of the year award.

The Iowa native also spent years coaching professional teams in England and was an assistant on Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996.


Casey was named head coach of the Detroit Pistons, replacing Stan Van Gundy, on Monday.

Nurse takes over a team that had an Eastern Conference-best 59 wins in the season just ended. During his seven-year tenure, Casey went 320-238 (.573). "I know where we started".

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