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.