The Raptors’ next coach must come from outside their system

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 04: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 04: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Fans of the Toronto Raptors this season shouldn’t be too surprised that the Raptors relived Nick Nurse of his head coaching duties if they saw how Toronto played this season. The Raptors were playing below expectations, and once they weren’t playing well, changes from the coaching staff were inevitable.

Toronto had largely the same system for over a decade. It started with Dwane Casey, and Nurse added his own tweaks to the formula. Recent seasons show that the formula for success the team had originally has started to show some cracks.

Regardless of who the next coach of the Raptors will be, it should be someone outside of their system. Even though it would be cool to see Patrick Mutombo, Adrian Griffin or Earl Watson promoted, the next head coach should not be someone that is a part of Nurse’s coaching staff because It would be the same culture.

They had the same culture for 11 years. The old system flatlined, and the players didn’t seem too happy.

Toronto also needs a coach that will improve the offense after such a disappointing season in 2022-23. Hiring a coach from a team with a good offensive system could fix their half-court issues. The offense under Nurse was more on the fly rather than a consistent system. That’s why the next head coach should a different offensive system that is more consistent than last season.

Who could be the next head coach of the Raptors?

When Nurse was fired, Jerry Stackhouse, Raptors assistant coach Patrick Mutombo, and Adrian Griffin names were on the initial list of candidates to be the next coach. Since then, the list got bigger.

Names like Kenny Atkinson, Charles Lee, David Adelman, and Jordi Fernandez were among the first names linked to the job. Monty Williams has recently been added to the list since the Pheonix Suns let him go. JJ Redick and former Raptors assistant coach Sergio Scariolo are also on the periphery for the head coaching job.

Hammon is the current head coach of the Las Vegas Aces where she won the 2022 WNBA championship. However, she herself has downplayed the idea of joining Toronto.

So that leaves Atkinson and Williams as two of the most likely candidate to coach Toronto. Atkinson was the former head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, which includes coaching the 2018-19 Nets team that was playing well in a fun environment. The Raptors were lacking those vibes this season, so if Atkinson can bring a little bit of that 18-19 Nets magic to Toronto, then this team might be fun to watch again.

When Williams was hired by the Suns, he turned that franchise around. Phoenix was a lottery team with no direction before he arrived. Since then, the Suns have improved every year, including going to the Finals in the 2020-21 season. He’s a respected coach with a history of success, and that’s a coach that the Raptors need right now.

The Toronto Raptors are now looking for candidates to be the next head coach of this team. Mutombo and Griffin would be nice picks, but the Raptors need to hire someone from outside the building and wipe the slate clean.

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