The summer of 2018 could be a period of major change for the Toronto Raptors organization.
Following the Raptors’ second straight playoff collapse, the first domino fell when president Masai Ujiri fired Dwane Casey, the longest tenured and winningest coach in franchise history.
Several candidates have emerged and the team has whittled a shortlist of replacements down to Raptors assistant Nick Nurse, San Antonio Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, and EuroLeague coaching newcomer and legendary player Sarunas Jasikevicius.
During an ESPN draft show that aired Tuesday night, NBA news-breaker Adrian Wojnarowski said Toronto is hoping to make a decision within the next week.
But don’t be surprised if the change isn’t restricted to the bench.
As currently constructed, the Raptors roster can go in several directions. Ujiri can keep his star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in tact and attempt to tweak the pieces around them. He can look to move his veteran stars and refocus on the future by building around promising young talent like OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl. Or he can make a dramatic move by dismantling the Lowry-DeRozan core that, despite leading the Raptors to their best regular season in history, has once again fallen short of expectations.
On Tuesday night, Wojnarowski confirmed that no Raptor is “untouchable” via trade this summer, and it’s a known fact to the 29 other general managers around the NBA.
Whether or not a coaching decision will impact the future direction of the club remains to be seen, but it’s clear that absolutely nothing is off the table for Ujiri and the Raptors this off-season.