Absurd rumor links Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse to Lakers

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 26: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 26: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have gone from a lottery team to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference in just one season, and the coaching acumen of Nick Nurse is one of the catalysts behind that development. On the flip side of that coin, the Los Angeles Lakers went from championship favorites to cellar dwellers this year.

The Lakers missed the playoffs and could potentially lose 50 games this season despite having LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook on the roster. Frank Vogel will likely be made the scapegoat for this season, as all reports seem to suggest that he is on his way out.

While the Lakers usually like to prioritize coaches that have connections within the organization, Rob Pelinka knows that he needs to nail this hire to save his job. Pelinka could try to snatch one of the league’s best coaches in Nurse to fill the void.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reports that one Eastern Conference expective expects the Lakers to “at least ask” about hiring Nurse. While Raptors fans shouldn’t prepare for Nurse’s exit based on one anonymous NBA executive presenting a complete hypothetical, this goes to show that the Lakers want to take a big swing in the offseason.

The Lakers could target Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

Nurse is one of the highest-paid coaches in the league, and he is under contract until the end of the 2023-24 season. Leaving for the Lakers would make him more prominent, but he would arrive on an aging roster that doesn’t fit at all with his signature chaotic defensive vision.

Nurse might be a Klutch Sports client, but leaving for Los Angeles might not give him a better chance of winning a championship. With a huge chunk of their cap tied up in three aging stars and no premium draft picks under their control, Toronto is the better long-term situation. This rumor might not have a ton of legs.

If the Lakers are hellbent on hiring an active coach with playoff experience, there are more realistic options than Nurse. On top of rumors linking Doc Rivers to the LA job, Jazz coach Quin Snyder is a former Lakers assistant who has made Utah a consistent winner. Amid rumors he could leave Utah for the Spurs, Snyder seems like a solid option for LA.

In Toronto, Nurse is allowed to flex his developmental skill, help mold the roster under his vision, and win consistently in the East. Leaving for a Lakers team beholden to James’ wishes and lacking the defensive depth Nurse covets would be a short-sighted move for him.

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