The Toronto Raptors have been guided by the steady hand of coach Nick Nurse over the last four years, as he’s turned a perennial playoff disappointment into a champion and a team many projected to be an also-ran into a 48-win squad. Naturally, teams around the league would like to replicate that success.
The Los Angeles Lakers know that they need to hit a home run with their next coaching hire after ditching Frank Vogel. In addition to Jazz mastermind Quin Snyder, Nurse is a name that has reportedly been high on LA’s wish list for some time. Nurse is a Klutch Sports client.
While Nurse would be a tremendous addition to a Los Angeles team in need of some direction, the Lakers might need to stop hoping that Nurse decides to upend Toronto’s Foundation to join them. Nurse confirmed that he isn’t being lured away in his most recent media availability.
Nurse shut down any talk of him leaving Masai Ujiri and the Raptors, claiming that he doesn’t “know where that stuff comes from” and emphasizing how prepared he is to coach this Toronto team next year. That should put all of the rumors to bed for a bit.
Nick Nurse said he is not leaving the Toronto Raptors for the Lakers.
Leaving the Raptors for the Lakers would be a disaster for Nurse. On top of the fact that LA is coming off of a very disappointing season, the roster outside of LeBron James and the perpetually injured Anthony Davis needs a major facelift. Nurse would be joining one of the league’s most dysfunctional environments.
Let’s look at these two options. Nurse could either stay in Toronto and continue to turn the Raptors into a winner or join the Lakers. The latter would entail taking on an aging roster, getting scapegoated at the first sign of trouble, and taking orders from Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis. Which one sounds better to you?
The Lakers could, in theory, offer Nurse some better paychecks and the ability to live in Los Angeles, but Toronto might be the better location from purely a basketball standpoint. Nurse likely won’t consider forcing his way out of Toronto to hitch his wagon onto a sinking ship like this.
The Lakers need to focus on either landing Snyder or stealing a top assistant coach from a recent champion. The longer they spend kidding themselves into believing Nurse is on his way, the less likely it will be that they ace this hiring process and add someone that could be a difference-maker.