Steve Nash surprisingly emerges as coaching candidate for Raptors

An offseason full of changes could be on the horizon for the Toronto Raptors. Their first step heading into the summer, however, revolves around finding a new head coach. After Nick Nurse was relieved of his duties a little more than a month ago, there have been many names linked to the Raptors’ head-coaching job.

Most recently, according to an ESPN report, the Raptors have been linked to names like Kenny Atkinson (Golden State), Becky Hammon (Las Vegas, WNBA), and JJ Redick.

Another recent report, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, says that the Raptors could be looking at another former NBA All-Star and former head coach to fill their coaching vacancy, Steve Nash.

Nash would not be the most surprising candidate but considering his abrupt exit from the Brooklyn Nets this past season. Nash’s name hasn’t really popped up as a trendy candidate in this most recent coaching carousel.

Will Steve Nash coach the Toronto Raptors?

Nash was the head coach of the Nets for much of the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era, coaching two seasons and starting a third with the team. He was fired just seven games into the 2022-23 NBA season. During his tenure with the Nets, he compiled a 94-67 record during the regular season and a 7-9 record in the postseason (with just one series win).

In fairness to Nash, he was thrown into an unfathomable position in his first coaching season. You’d have to imagine that, in a vacuum, every first-year coaching in the NBA is hard for any candidate, even more so for one that entered that opportunity with virtually no official professional coaching experience.

Not only was Nash thrown into the fire that is NBA coaching, but he was also asked to do so with Kevin Durant and one of the most unpredictable and volatile players in the league, Kyrie Irving. Nash did a fairly good job in managing the team during his first season (2020-21) as they came to the doorstep of beating the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Then, the wheels began to fall off during his second season, culminating in a disappointing showing in the playoffs which carried over to a rough start this season. That’s when the Nets and Nash officially parted ways.

The Raptors still likely have a few steps to take before they make a head-coaching hire official, and Nash shows that they are willing to cast as wide a net as possible in search of their next Nick Nurse.