Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has reported that the Toronto Raptors have fired head coach Dwane Casey. The move comes after the Raptors were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Toronto has fired coach Dwane Casey, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2018
Report: Toronto Raptors Fire Head Coach Dwane Casey
Casey had been leading the Raptors since 2011. The franchise went to new heights during his tenure, having three 50-win seasons and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in the 2016 season. 59 wins this past season was a franchise high and the Raptors were able to secure the no. 1 seed. But after being eliminated by the Cavs for the third consecutive year with two of the series resulting in a sweep, the organization felt the change was needed. Would this be the first time a coach is fired the same year they win Coach of the Year? The NBA Awards are in June and Casey is a possibility to win the award.
The Business Side
Moves like this show just how tough the business side of the NBA can be at times. Not even a franchise high in wins can help job security. It was felt this was the year the Raptors would finally get over the hump and potentially reach the NBA Finals and dethrone LeBron James‘ Eastern Conference reign for the past seven years.
Casey pulled out all the tricks he could in order to give the Raptors a chance. He had his stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry buy into a new offensive system that relied heavily on ball and player movement. Putting trust in a bench filled with rookies and second-year players was another move made by Casey. All of it seemed to be coming to fruition during the regular season.
It will be interesting to see what direction the Raptors go in. Could this be the first move of many for the organization as they decide to blow it up? Time will only tell. For the coaching position, look for them to possibly stay in-house and pick Jerry Stackhouse as the new man. He has been coaching the Raptors G-League Affiliate, Raptors 905, and has been in contention for other head coaching positions.