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Masai Ujiri might not keep Dwane Casey, after all

Jun 5, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT

Raptors head coach Casey gestures to his players during game against the Bulls in Toronto.

Despite a report earlier in the week that Dwane Casey would return as coach of the Raptors, new Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri wasn’t so resolute in his public statements on the matter. Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun:

Ujiri stopped well short of guaranteeing that Casey will be his head coach heading into next season.

“I’ve talked to Dwane Casey a couple of times and we’re going to sit down and I will understand what his philosophies are and I will tell him what my philosophies are and I’ll tell him what I think needs to be changed,” Ujiri said. “For me this organization is going to be like this now (hands together) and we will all be on the same page and have the same goals.”

“For me, Dwane Casey has done a great job but I need to sit down with coach and figure out what his philosophies are and what he’s thinking for the future of this team … I need these 2-3 weeks where coach and I are going to figure out whether this thing is going to go forward for the next year. Right now I don’t see any reason why not.”

In two or three weeks, the top coaching candidates will likely be off the market. I think Casey has shown enough that firing him then probably wouldn’t guarantee a better result, and another year with Casey coaching the Raptors probably makes sense for both sides.

But if Ujiri finds he and Casey really are on different pages, Ujiri would be better off parting then rather than dragging it out for another season. There are plenty of promising assistant coaches who deserve a shot as a head coach, and I’d trust Ujiri more than most to find one.

  1. saint1997 - Jun 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Unless you can get one of the big name assistants floating around (Brian Shaw for instance), keep him or one more year. Give him a decent chance to formulate a gameplay where he knows his talents (Ross, Gay, DeRozan, Valenciunas) and can build from there. Just give him some players that aren’t bad at shooting 2-guards and see how he goes

  2. nagidac - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    “There are plenty of promising assistant coaches who deserve a shot as a head coach, and I’d trust Ujiri more than most to find one.”

    Casey was one of these promising assistant coaches a year ago, so let’s see Ujiri get him a more complete team to play with, cut some salaries (*ahem* Bargnani *ahem*) and give Casey a chance to start turning the team around.

  3. jimsjam33 - Jun 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Vinny Del Negro is a systems coach . The Raptors need to learn how to win before they can compete for anything .

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