The Toronto Raptors have announced that former assistant coach Nick Nurse will take over head coaching duties, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Nurse replaces Dwane Casey, who was fired shortly after the Raptors were swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nurse, 50, spent 12 seasons coaching in Europe and has six seasons of coaching experience in the G-League, where he won two championships and a Coach of the Year award. He joined the Raptors organization in 2013 and has served as an assistant on the staff alongside Dwane Casey since then. According to Woj, the two sides are still working out the specific details of the contract.
The Raptors finished the 2017-18 season with an Eastern Conference-best 59-23 record, the best mark in franchise history. During Casey’s tenure in Toronto, which began in 2011, the Raptors made five straight playoff appearances, including four Atlantic Division titles and three consecutive 50-win seasons. Yesterday afternoon it was announced that Casey had agreed to a five-year deal to become the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
The Raptors also interviewed San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina and Lithuanian Basketball League coach Sarunas Jasikevicius for the head coaching job, according to Sports Illustrated.