Report: Raptors interviewed Spurs’ Messina, Udoka for vacant coach job

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina (Eric Gay/AP)

The Toronto Raptors interviewed San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka for their vacant head coaching position, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.

According to the ESPN reporter, Raptors president Masai Ujiri and his staff met with Messina and Udoka on Thursday and Friday of this week, spending full days with each of them.

Messina and Udoka represent two new names attached to Toronto’s coaching search. The Raptors were initially attached to Mike Budenholzer before he took the Milwaukee Bucks job and, most recently, have been connected to three internal candidates in Nick Nurse, Rex Kalamian and Jerry Stackhouse.

Messina’s name has been floated around recently in connection to other open coaching positions, including the Bucks before they went with Budenholzer and the Charlotte Hornets. The 58-year-old has been on Spurs coach Greg Popovich’s staff since 2014 and initially made his mark in Europe, winning four EuroLeague Championships with two different teams — Italian club Virtus Balogna in 1998 and 2001 and Russian team CSKA Moscow in 2006 and 2008.

Udoka, 40, is a former NBA player and has been on Popovich’s staff since the 2012-13 NBA season. He has also seen interest from the Hornets as well as the Orlando Magic to take over as head coach.

Toronto’s been left searching for a new head coach ever since firing Dwane Casey on May 11. Casey departed the team as the winningest coach in Raptors franchise history.

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