Change is coming to Toronto. A lot of change.
If you recall, going into the 2013-14 season the Raptors were a franchise and a roster GM Masai Ujiri was looking to reshape from top to bottom. Then he traded Rudy Gay to Sacramento and the Raptors took off and won the Atlantic Division behind Kyle Lowry’s brilliance. Rebuilding through the draft was on hold, the timetable got moved up. This past season (2014-15) the Raptors won the Atlantic Division again, but a sweep at the hands of the Wizards in the first round showed just how far this roster and franchise still needs to go.
Meaning there will be plenty of roster change this summer.
Will that start with coach Dwane Casey? The coach with a reputation for defense couldn’t get this team out of the bottom 10 on that end of the floor (23rd, allowing 104.8 points per 100 possessions). He’s a coach Ujiri inherited from the previous GM, but one Ujiri gave an extension to. Will Casey be back next season?
Ujiri said he didn’t even know. From Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
Well, that’s vague. But it sounds like he’s leaning toward keeping Casey. Which is what Marc Stein of ESPN said he had heard.
Initial indications, though, suggest that Casey will indeed be back next season, according to the latest whispers on the Toronto grapevine….
The Raptors, for all their undeniable financial resources, also happen to be investing in a new practice facility, as well as their own D-League franchise, and presumably would not love the idea of absorbing the remaining money on the coach’s contract if there was a sudden clamor to make a change.
Expect to see a lot of roster turnover in Toronto.
If they are going to play Lowry and DeMar DeRozan together — especially with Jonas Valanciunas — then they need some rim protection at the four, plus a good “3&D” guy for the wing. They need depth. I doubt anyone on that roster is safe if the right deal comes along.
With that new roster, Casey will start the season with his seat already a little warm.