Toronto Raptors Hire Assistant Nick Nurse To Replace Dwane Casey

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.

Updating an item from yesterday that suggested the Toronto Raptors had narrowed their head coaching search down to two candidates, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that the "growing expectation" in coaching circles is that Nick Nurse is the choice.

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Nurse has spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors under Casey.

The 50-year-old Nurse is known for his offensive skills as a coach, winning the D-League championship in 2010-11 and 2012-13 before joining the Raptors. Nurse will be judged on his ability to guide Toronto deeper into the postseason before its core passes its prime. Toronto also took the third-most threes in the league, up from 22nd place two seasons ago.

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The terms of the deal were not announced yet. He is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader with.468 (170 of 363).

Lewenberg noted that if the Raptors passed on Nurse as head coach, they risked losing him altogether as he finished atop a Yahoo poll from early April among executives that tabbed him as the top head coaching prospect among National Basketball Association assistants. "I know where we started".

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