The #Raptors905 (I think I’m supposed to use a hashtag there) have made their first couple moves:
The #Raptors905 make first hires with Dan Tolzman as General Manager and Jesse Mermuys as Head Coach/Assistant General Manager.
— RaptorsMR (@RaptorsMR) July 7, 2015
Jesse Mermuys was on the bench as an assistant coach last season and was basically the backup half-time interview behind Tom Sterner. He takes on the role of Assistant GM as well as head-coach, and creates a direct link between Dwane Casey’s coaching staff and the D-League franchise.
Mermuys survived the assistant coaching cull which saw Sterner and Bill Bayno fall by the wayside. The introduction of Jerry Stackhouse and Rex Kalamian had filled those voids, and now that Mermuys is leaving, there may be an additional hire. We nominate Butch Carter. Mermuys also coaches the Raptors summer league teams.
Dan Tolzman was the director of scouting for the team and will be taking over GM duties, which goes hand-in-hand with his previous role. In fact, it’s an nice transition from identifying players (scouting) to integrating them into a larger system (development). This D-League movement is a huge step in the right direction and it’ll start paying dividends within a year, and doubly so if it somehow accelerates Bruno Caboclo’s development from backup mascot to 10th man.
I got to say, the Mermuys hire surprised me because he doesn’t exactly come off as well-rounded, and if he was a friend of mine I wouldn’t trust him as a job reference. He might just blurt out how we stole that DVD player from Best Buy that one time.
“This is a step on Jesse’s path to becoming an NBA head coach,” said Ujiri. “We have seen first-hand his ability to develop our players and are excited to have him lead our DLeague program.”
“I am extremely excited for the responsibility of developing and helping our young players reach their full potential” said Mermuys. “The opportunity to assist the organization, fulfill my passion for player development while strengthening my leadership skills through head coaching experience is a valuable prospect.