Rockets expert believes that Nick Nurse leaving Raptors would change franchise

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are going to be bombarded with Nick Nurse rumors until someone asserts with clarity that he is either leaving or staying as the head coach of the team. The rumblings connecting him to the Houston Rockets are not going to abate anytime soon.

Leaving a playoff competitor like the Raptors for a Houston team that has been regarded as one of the worst organizations in the league during the last few seasons seems odd, but Nurse may just need a new challenge at this point in his career. He does have connections with the organization.

How would Nurse impact the Rockets franchise? I sought out answers from Anthony Duckett. Duckett is the site expert over at Space City Scoop, FanSided’s home for all things Houston Rockets. He seems very bullish on the idea of Nurse coming to town and being a culture changer immediately.

ML: On a scale of 1/10, how excited would Rockets fans be about Nick Nurse replacing Stephen Silas?

AD: I’d say a 9. Rockets fans are tired of being at the bottom of the league and are ready for a big splash. Hiring a championship coach would fit those criteria.

ML: Nurse has been known for a unique, positionless style with a strong emphasis on swarming defense. With many of Houston’s best players right now subpar defenders, are you worried about the culture change alienating some of them?

AD: Not at all. I believe this is a necessary step for them. And many of them have expressed a desire to improve on that side of the ball. For example, both Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. have emphasized the need to improve in that regard individually.

ML: Do you believe that any key rotation players on the Rockets could be jettisoned when Nurse comes to town?

AD: Certainly a possibility. The Rockets want to make a run at major roster upgrades this time around. That could mean some guys could be gone.

ML: Do you believe that Nurse coming to Houston would essentially be a power grab that could give him personnel decision-making authority? That could be one of the main reasons he left a playoff team in Toronto for a rebuilding project like Houston.

AD: If this is what he’s after, he won’t be taking this job. Rockets GM Rafael Stone has had his handprints all over this team. He was known to have been attending practices, shootarounds, and video sessions. I have a hard time seeing him relinquishing control.

ML: Ime Udoka’s name has been mentioned for both the Raptors’ and Rockets’ hypothetical vacancies. If you could have your pick of either of them, would you choose Udoka or Nurse?

AD: Nurse. For one, he has early roots to Houston, from his time coaching the Rio Grande Vipers. For two, he has championship experience. Third, he doesn’t come with any off-the-court concerns

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