The Toronto Raptors and their fanbase seem to be reasonably pleased with the hiring of former Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic. He brings an outsider perspective, has a strong background in player development, and comes from a solid offensive system. However, some still seem to be in the Jordi Fernandez camp.
Fernandez, who is currently the associate head coach under Mike Brown with the Sacramento Kings, was tapped to lead the Canadian national team in the FIBA World Cup after Nick Nurse parted ways. The results, at least through a handful of games, have been very promising.
Canada put up a historic 128 points in a non-competitive trouncing of Lebanon and dominated a lackluster France side by 30 points in one of the more shocking results of the tournament. While the talent is helping him out a ton, Fernandez looks quite sharp.
The Raptors will need to hit the ground running early on with Rajakovic at the helm, lest the pro-Fernandez crowd start to get riled up once again. Toronto may have let a hidden gem of a coaching candidate walk out of the building in favor of someone like Rajakovic.
Should the Toronto Raptors have hired Jordi Fernandez?
The Raptors could have gotten before the inevitable rush on Fernandez, as they were the only team put on a very aggressive push for him to be their next coach. Fernandez won’t stay in Sacramento forever, and now the rest of the NBA can see what a quality leader he is.
Fernandez, like Rajakovic, has a history of developing solid offensive players and an academic background. Canada is lighting up the FIBA scoreboard despite the relaxed rim protection rules and shortened game time, which should not be overlooked at all.
Fernandez clearly impressed during his Raptors interview, as the Canadian team likely asked the Raptors if Fernandez would be a solid hire. While Canada still faces long odds when it comes to medaling in this competition, Fernandez’s ability to get the most out of his players on offense has been on full display in these games.
Everything the Raptors have seen with regard to Rajakovic would lead them and the rest of the fanbase to believe that he will come right in and make an impact. However, that first losing streak (or Kings winning streak) will have some wondering what Fernandez could be doing in the same position.