The Toronto Raptors might break from their usual philosophy of internal development and go outside the organization to hire their next head coach. Their list of targets to replace Nick Nurse did include assistants like Adrian Griffin, but also mentioned top coaches currently plying their trade elsewhere like Kenny Atkinson and Becky Hammon.
One name that stands out among the neophyte candidates is Kevin Young, who has spent the last two seasons as the associate head coach and right-hand man of Monty Williams with the Phoenix Suns. Young’s status on a great team will make him a very desirable candidate.
While Young’s Suns are currently down 2-0 in their postseason series against the Denver Nuggets, Young can use these next few games as an audition for the Raptors job. Adjustments need to be made, and Young might be able to pull off the necessary tweaks to Phoenix’s game plan.
Success in the postseason, on top of a resume that has the Raptors interested and strong testimonials from names like Chris Paul, might make Young the best man for the job if everything goes on as planned. With some luck, the Raptors may stumble headfirst into their newest coaching candidate.
Will the Toronto Raptors hire Kevin Young?
Young is yet another coach with a G League background that has Toronto’s interest. After a very solid three-year stint as the head coach of the Delaware 87ers (now the Blue Coats), Young was eventually brought up to the Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant under Brett Brown.
Williams brought him to Phoenix after Doc Rivers took the Philly job, and the Suns have become one of the most consistently excellent and offensively exciting teams in the league during that period. Young’s offensive background might make him ideal for the Raptors.
If the Raptors follow the NBA’s tried and true practice of hiring the top assistant from one of the best teams in the league, Young might be on his way up north. Considering that he was a finalist for the Wizards job that was eventually given to Wes Unseld Jr, his status is known throughout the league.
Young may not have as much NBA experience under his belt as some of the names on Toronto’s list, but his performance in the last few years has been exceptional. If he can help the Suns come back from their current deficit, the Raptors may fall in love with him as a candidate.