Latest Raptors coaching update sets stage for shocking fans with hire

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’ coaching search is a good Rorschach test for fans. While the optimists will see a very diverse search that involves candidates from all over the basketball world, the pessimist would look at their initial list of candidates as lacking in structure and a defined vision.

After all, why else would Toronto be (seemingly) equally interested in a former NBA finalist like Monty Williams and someone who has never coached in the NBA like JJ Redick? Masai Ujiri has mentioned that he wants a leader who can develop their young talent, but who doesn’t want that?

The Raptors do know that they need to nail this hire, lest the next half-decade of basketball be cast to the wolves and unceremoniously ruined. The latest buzz makes it sound like the Raptors are willing to get weird in pursuit of their goals in this regard.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Raptors hope to be “blown away” by one of the candidates coming to town. The team is also willing to make an “unconventional” hire, which could mean that outside candidates like Redick might be ready to get some special treatment.

Who will the Toronto Raptors hire as head coach?

The biggest problem with the Raptors’ vacancy, aside from the financial constraints placed on them by a roster that is not going to be super malleable, is the fact that they will have to compete with a few ready-made contenders in the very competitive Eastern Conference.

The Suns look like one of the favorites to win the West next year, the Bucks have one of the game’s best in Giannis Antetkounmpo, and the 76ers are a much more championship-ready team than the Raptors. Those three options all look more desirable.

Could that mean a coach like Redick or Becky Hammon ends up coaching the Raptors? Well, considering this front office did fire the Coach of the Year and replace him with his understudy one year before winning a championship, convention often gets left at the door when the Raptors are making decisions.

The Raptors have stated in the past that they would like to hire someone who can lead their team, develop their promising talent, and make sure they are a sustainable contender in the East. While some coaches who can do that come from strong backgrounds, that doesn’t mean a hidden gem isn’t out there somewhere.

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