3 reasons Nick Nurse joining Lakers make no sense for both teams

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Head coach Nick Nurse reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Head coach Nick Nurse reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors
TAMPA, FLORIDA – APRIL 06: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are back in the postseason thanks to the brilliant schematic exploits of head coach Nick Nurse. While Nurse has helped a motley crew of young players and positionless puzzle pieces fit together, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers are turning the page and starting a new coaching era.

Frank Vogel was shown the door just one day after the season ended. Looks like losing 49 games in a season where many projected the Lakers to run away with the Western Conference doesn’t earn you another shot. The Lakers are trying to go big to find a replacement.

Rumors from Heavy.com and Shams Charania state that Nurse is fixed firmly atop Los Angeles’ list of potential coaching candidates. While Nurse is a Klutch Sports client, even the most optimistic Lakers fan out there has to realize this move is as unlikely as possible.

On top of the fact that it would take a minor miracle to even acquire him, the fit wouldn’t be good for Nurse or the Lakers. The Raptors would also be out of arguably a top-five coach in the league. For a multitude of reasons that go beyond these three main ones, this move would be a nightmare for all parties.

3 reasons Nick Nurse will not leave the Toronto Raptors for the Lakers.

3. Lakers would need to give up compensation

Let’s get hypothetical for a moment. Even if Nurse wanted to join the Lakers and the Raptors permitted Los Angeles to interview one of the league’s highest-paid coaches, LA would need to flip some sort of compensation to Toronto if they want to hire a coach that is under contract until 2024.

NBA coaches can be traded, as evidenced by Doc Rivers heading to the Clippers for a first-round pick that eventually became RJ Hunter in 2015. However, the Lakers don’t have control of their first-round pick until 2027, making a potential swap harder to pull off.

The Lakers won’t be able to acquire Nick Nurse from the Toronto Raptors.

In LA, Nurse would be saddled with an aging roster full of veterans that don’t fit well schematically with one another eating up a ton of salary cap space. With LeBron James a free agent after 2022-23, turning the Lakers into a winner and showing off his ability to develop talent will be even harder without any top draft picks for a decade.

The Lakers need to hire either an up-and-coming assistant that can flex their schematic inventions (think Ime Udoka in Boston) or an unattached coach that James respects. Giving away assets for Nurse with the aim of overclocking the rebuild might not leave the Lakers in a much better spot.