Toronto’s search for a new head coach has thus far been an arduous one. It turns out replacing a 59-win coach is tougher than it looks. Since firing Dwane Casey on May 11th, there has been almost no public acknowledgement from the front office that the field has been narrowed, or even what the front office is looking for in the new coach.
Thanks to reporting from Michael Grange and Josh Lewenberg over the past seven days, we know there are two final names that have piqued team president Masai Ujiri’s interest: Spurs’ assistant coach Ettore Messina and Raptors’ assistant coach Nick Nurse.
The two coaches are the obvious choices when you glance at the remaining field — Nurse has spent the last five seasons in Toronto, while re-shaping the team’s offense over the last year to better match that of an ever-evolving NBA. He knows the team and its players, and of the two candidates, Nurse would have the shortest adjustment time before next season begins.
Messina on the other hand may be a new name to some Raptors fans. Aside from sharing a sideline with the best coach in the league for the last four seasons, the Italian-born coach has been all over the globe, racking up numerous championships and awards over the last thirty years in all levels of European competition....