The Toronto Raptors have been interviewing plenty of proven head coaches and top-end assistants in their quest to find a replacement for Nick Nurse. They have also made one of the more puzzling interview requests we had seen in quite some time when they asked to talk to JJ Redick.
Redick, who is currently a TV talking head with ESPN and a podcast host following a very productive 15-year NBA career, was interviewed by the Raptors for their head coaching vacancy. Redick, who said previously he would only coach at Duke, has never been a head or assistant coach in the NBA.
NBA Twitter’s initial reaction to the news was one of bewilderment, as they couldn’t believe that an executive like Masai Ujiri would be willing to make such an unusual move. However, hiring Redick wouldn’t be a white-flag waving, especially considering his basketball acumen.
The Raptors looking at Redick could help them land a potential star in the industry before the rest of the basketball world figures out how good he can be. However, it could also be such a poor hire that it sets this franchise back for years. Which direction will Redick take them?
Pros and cons of Raptors hiring JJ Redick.
Redick’s basketball mind and experience as a player could give him a very unique angle from which he could approach the Raptors. The Nurse formula wasn’t working, and Redick could bring something new to the table that helps this team find themselves offensively,
If Redick knows anything about basketball, he would know how to shoot from 3-point range. Perhaps he has enough smarts to bring one or two tricks of the trade up to Toronto with him as he tried to get this roster to perform at a professional level from beyond the arc.
JJ Redick brings new ideas to the Toronto Raptors.
Rather than hiring another retread head coach that has tried and failed, hiring someone who isn’t far removed from playing might help him relate to players like Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. Being unable to control the locker room seems like one of the main issues Nurse faced near the end.
Steve Kerr was named the coach of the Warriors with no experience, and he presided over one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. Larry Bird almost beat prime Shaq and Kobe in the Finals after jumping into the fray as coach of the Pacers, and Doc Rivers’ 23-season stint as a coach began when the Magic hired him right after his retirement.