Raptors interview JJ Redick for coaching vacancy in wild turn of events

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: ESPN analyst JJ Redick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: ESPN analyst JJ Redick (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors haven’t necessarily made a ton of progress in their head coaching search following the departure of Nick Nurse. Names have popped up every now and again, but there hasn’t been one favorite that has proven themselves to be a particularly exceptional candidate.

The Raptors appear to have put an emphasis on player development and offensive excellence with some of the candidates they have interviewed. Milwaukee’s Charles Lee, Sacramento’s Jordi Fernandez, and Denver’s David Adelman are among the names the Raptors have interviewed.

As is often the case with coaching searches like this, one name that comes way out of left field always manages to sneak into the list of candidates. In Toronto’s case, it’s former NBA sharpshooter and current TV talking head JJ Redick. Ujiri is watching him with great interest.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski, Redick’s co-worker at ESPN, Redick interviewed for the Raptors’ vacancy. It remains to be seen if he will return to Toronto for another interview as he moves further into the process, but the Raptors seem to value his basketball mind.

Toronto Raptors interview JJ Redick for head coaching vacancy

Redick averaged 12.8 points per game while making 41.5% of his 3-pointers in a lengthy 15-year career that involved stops with the Magic, 76ers, and Clippers. Redick is a well-respected voice in the league who has since become one of the most insightful voices in the NBA media landscape amid the surrounding maelstrom of hot takes.

Hiring a coach out of the analyst world hasn’t always been a smash hit, but names like Steve Kerr have shown that going from behind the camera to inside the locker room could be a winning formula. Redick’s experience in the league should qualify him for some coaching looks.

Redick did say in the past that he would only go into the coaching ranks if he was eyeing a return to his alma mater, Duke. The Raptors might change his mind, as the chance to coach Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam appeals to him enough to the point where he is moving forward as a candidate.

Hiring Redick would be an out-of-the-box move from Ujiri, but firing Dwane Casey after winning Coach of the Year and trading DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard were also unusual at the time. Redick’s basketball smarts are beyond reproach, which could help make a transition from media life to the coaching grind easier.

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