Toronto Raptors: 3 coaches who could replace Jama Mahlalela

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 26: Assistant coaches Jama Mahlalela of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 26: Assistant coaches Jama Mahlalela of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Terry Stotts, Toronto Raptors
Apr 30, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Portland Trailblazers head coach and potential Toronto Raptors assistant Terry Stotts Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors have suffered some huge losses on the coaching staff over the last few years. Nick Nurse has had to watch assistants like Nate Bjorkgren and Chris Finch leave Toronto’s sideline in order to take head coaching spots in Indiana and Minnesota, respectively, and they even lost Jama Mahlalela to a lateral move with the Golden State Warriors.

Steve Kerr completely overhauled his coaching staff, making former Nets head coach and Clippers assistant Kenny Atkinson a top assistant while also bringing in Mahlalela. Not only did The Athletic report that the move is in place, but NBC Sports is reporting that he is already on the job.

With six years as a professional assistant and two years as the head coach of the vaunted Raptors 905 G League team, Mahlalela is one of the main reasons Toronto’s development culture has been so excellent.

The Raptors will have a big decision to make when it comes to replacing him. Do they hire someone with G League experience that can attempt to replicate Mahlalela’s wizardry with young players, or do they hire a veteran assistant with decades of experience?

Toronto could go in several different directions in order to replace Mahlalela, but these 3 names stand out as candidates who could be at the very top of Nurse’s list.

These 3 coaches could replace Jama Mahlalela on the Toronto Raptors

3. Terry Stotts

Despite a roster that featured names like Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Stotts was axed by the Trail Blazers after once again losing in the first round of the postseason. While his coaching stock is as low as it has been in years, his resume should give the Raptors confidence that he can add some quality schematic wrinkles on offense.

Stotts, who has made head-coaching stops in Atlanta and Milwaukee in the early part of the millennium, earned the Portland job due to his offensive adjustments during the Mavericks’ magic 2011 title run. You can say a lot of things about Stotts’ time in Portland, but you can’t say the offense was bad.

Terry Stotts has a solid resume, and he could help the Toronto Raptors

In nine years as head coach of the Blazers, Stotts’ teams ranked in the top ten in points per game seven times, including last year. While having Lillard undoubtedly helped, Stotts could be another respected voice in the room that can help a solid Raptors offense play with more pace and efficiency over the course of next season.

Stotts didn’t get the Pacers’ job after Rick Carlisle returned to Indiana, but that proves that he is so well-respected in league circles that he earned an interview right after he was fired. If he doesn’t end up landing on his feet as a head coach, Toronto should make him one of the more qualified assistants in the game.