The Toronto Raptors have been one of the league’s most consistent winners over the last decade, as Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse have made them a ubiquitous postseason presence and NBA champion. Assistant coaches like Patrick Mutombo rarely get tons of credit, but they are integral parts of the squad.
Mutombo joined the Raptors in 2016 as an assistant coach from the Austin Spurs. He even managed to survive when Masai Ujiri pulled off the Band-Aid and replaced Casey with Nurse. After strutting his stuff on the professional level, Mutombo returned to the G League and became the head coach of Raptors 905.
Toronto’s developmental team has routinely been praised as one of the finest units in the entire league. With contenders across the league looking to steal some of that magic, Mutombo has been plucked from the developmental ranks by one of the NBA’s best teams.
Mutombo will leave the Raptors and join the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach. Mutombo has put in more than enough time as an assistant with Toronto, so moving to a ready-made contender like Phoenix could help put him on the express path towards becoming a head coach in the NBA.
Ujiri had confirmed in a May interview that teams had been calling about Mutombo’s availability.
Toronto Raptors coach Patrick Mutombo is joining the Suns.
With Mutombo at the helm, Raptors 905 had gone 36-11 in the regular season over the last two years. With essential role players like Malachi Flynn and Justin Champagnie getting heavy minutes in Mississauga, Mutombo has done an excellent job of ensuring they reach their full potential.
Mutombo got his NBA start in the early 2010s as an assistant with some decent Nuggets teams. Any team looking for a coach that can develop talent missed out on Mutombo, as he has a decade of professional experience and a ring on his finger.
Hiring Raptors assistants appears to be one of the popular new trends in the league. In addition to Chris Finch becoming a smashing success in Minnesota, the Jazz have a degree of interest in bringing Adrian Griffin to Utah. Mutombo will surely get some HC interviews if the Suns are good again next year.
Losing Mutombo could be a big blow for a team that loves to draft raw players and mold them into stars, but this hiring shows that Toronto’s unique ability to find diamonds in the rough is turning the rest of the league green with envy. Mutombo and Monty Williams make up one of the league’s best staffs in Phoenix.