Some movement in the coaching carousel. Adrian Griffin, former lead assistant under Nick Nurse for your Toronto Raptors, was hired as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. I have a long, long piece about that coming out for the Milwaukee Bucks sometime very soon on nba dot com, which is cool. It’ll be free and unlocked, and once it’s out, I’ll hyperlink it to here.
I don’t see this as affecting Toronto’s coaching search very much. Griffin did factor into Toronto’s search, and he did interview, but it doesn’t surprise me that the Raptors wanted an outside voice to change the team entirely. Most of the assistant coaching staff was let go with Nurse (Jim Sann and Rico Hines will stay, I believe), so the front office seems quite committed to changing the culture from the top down. Sann and Hines are both incredible well-respected coaches with experience in player development, so it’s quite a good thing they’re sticking around.
Marc Stein reported here that Jordi Fernandez is a name to watch in Toronto’s coaching search. I’ve also heard that Sergio Scariolo is no longer in the running, but that’s really through the grapevine, so take my reporting here with a grain of salt.
There’s also some smoke in regards to Toronto trying to trade up in the draft. There are a number of teams that, logically, might want a veteran, win-now player rather than a top pick, including Portland-Houston-Detroit at 3-4-5. Toronto will have a very good player available at 13, but there could be some chances to add a higher pick instead of 13, or perhaps to stock up on talent with 13 and a higher pick, while trading away some of the established guys. Masai Ujiri and the front office still haven’t decided on a path forward, and the draft will be a pretty large domino telling us what’s about to come.
Change! We’ll see, but it’s creeping ever closer.