The Toronto Raptors are adding Nate Bjorkgren to their coaching staff, Raptors Republic and Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun have learned.
Bjorkgren actually finished the 2017-18 season as an advanced scout for the Raptors and had a long-standing relationship with new head coach Nick Nurse. Bjorkgren was an assistant under Nurse with the Iowa Energy of the G League back from 2007-11. Nurse was actually in Bjorkgren’s wedding party, so this friendship goes beyond just coaching.
Prior to landing with the Raptors, Bjorkgren was an assistant with the Phoenix Suns and a head coach with Bakersfield, Iowa, Santa Cruz, and Dakota.
A fellow Iowa native, Bjorkgren has a solid reputation as a player development coach and should fit right in with the Raptors’ development system. He’s been around during recent camps and throughout Las Vegas Summer League, so the transition is already well under way. It’s not immediately clear where on the bench hierarchy he’ll slide with Adrian Griffin added, several holdovers from the back of the bench still around, and another addition or two likely to come.
Nurse has also been interviewing international head coaches for a position on his staff, and it seems likely another addition will be made shortly.