10 best replacements for Nick Nurse as Toronto Raptors coach

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) /
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The Toronto Raptors dismissed head coach Nick Nurse after five years of service Friday morning, showing that Masai Ujiri is not going to take another season outside of the playoffs lying down. Not even Nurse’s championship ring was enough to save him after a 41-41 campaign.

The hunt for his successor promises to be as important as any coaching search in franchise history. Ujiri has shown he can make good hiring choices once before by swapping Nurse in for Dwane Casey, but he needs to show that he can pull off that trick one more time.

The Raptors have several quality assistants on the staff that might be able to slide right in and take over a squad dying to reassert themselves. However, as the latest rumors seem to suggest, Toronto may have its eyes set on a few quality names that made their names elsewhere.

Toronto will likely need to conduct a very thorough search in order to identify the person best suited to succeed Nurse. They should start off by bringing these 10 coaches and then whittling that list down to something that is a bit more manageable.

10 replacements for Nick Nurse as Toronto Raptors head coach.

10. Earl Watson, Toronto Raptors assistant coach

Watson has earned another shot as a coach in the NBA with Toronto or someone else, as players like Devin Booker have been quoted saying that Watson was instrumental in their development. The Robert Sarver situation and the dearth of talent available to him in Phoenix made it almost impossible for him to succeed with the Suns.

Still, on a Raptors team that is trying everything possible to erase the stench of last season, bringing back one of Nurse’s top assistants might not be the home run formula for success some think it may be. Watson’s win-loss record is unsightly for many reasons outside of his control, but also some within his grasp.

Will the Toronto Raptors retain Earl Watson?

9. Chris Quinn, Miami Heat associate head coach

Quinn is a former Heat point guard who has since become the most trusted deputy for Erik Spoelstra in Miami. Quinn is becoming a hot name in the coaching circles, as he is reportedly going to get a look from the Detroit Pistons as they try to dig themselves out of a hole.

The Raptors’ style of play is not too dissimilar from what Miami is trying to do, so bringing in Quinn might help them preserve an identity while tweaking the deficient areas. If the Raptors miss on Quinn, they will likely see him in charge of another team in the near future.