Report: Casey frontrunner to become Raptors coach

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Dwane Casey, the former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach who was just the lead assistant and defensive coach for the Dallas Mavericks, is the clear frontrunner for the Toronto Raptors job and may be hired next week.

All that according to tweets from the reliable Marc Stein of ESPN.

Mavs assistant coach Dwane Casey has emerged as clear favorite for Raptors’ job and on course to be hired next week… Raps had narrowed search to Casey and Celts assistant Lawrence Frank but have zeroed in on Casey after interviewing both men this week… Raps in desperate need of defensive culture. Casey just helped DAL install one after years of ridicule. Raps 30th in ’10-11 in D efficiency

Casey deserves another shot. He was 53-69 during a year and a half with the Timberwolves from 2005 to 2007. He was 20-20 at the start of his second season when owner Glen Taylor thought he was not getting enough out of this “very talented” roster in Minnesota (Kevin Garnett then the next best player was Ricky Davis).

They fired Casey. The Wolves went 12-30 the rest of the way.

He’s been a defensive minded assistant in a few places now and had success. But changing the defensive culture in Toronto is going to take more than just bringing in a coach, it’s going to take some personnel changes as well. You think Tom Thibodeau could make the turnaround he did in Chicago without Joakim Noah and some other defensive minded players?

Still, Casey would be a good start to making changes in Toronto.