Raptors GM Masai Ujiri didn’t say whether coach Dwane Casey would be back next year, though he indicated that if he had decided against keeping him, he’d have already said so, notes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link). “There’s no doomsday here,” Ujiri said, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (on Twitter). “Initial indications” are that the Raptors will retain Casey, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com hears, as he writes in the same piece, but league sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe that it’s still uncertain whether the coach will be back next season, even though he’s under contract. Casey agreed to a three-year deal last offseason that consists of two guaranteed years and a team option for 2016/17. There’s plenty more on the Raptors, as we detail:
- The belief is that the Raptors would like to re-sign Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams on a reasonable deal, according to Stein, who writes in the same piece, though Eric Koreen of the National Post suggests that Williams and the rest of the Raptors free agents aren’t strong bets to return. An NBA executive told Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun that he would only sign Williams to a one-year deal, citing his defensive shortcomings.
- Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas are the only Raptors who should feel confident that they’re likely to remain in Toronto for next season, Stein hears, adding that rival teams would nonetheless be unsurprised if the team makes changes to its core.
- Casey and Ujiri have no shortage of faith in Terrence Ross, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, who says that chances are that Ross is still with the Raptors next season. A trade of DeRozan would allow Ross into his natural position of shooting guard, and many believe “the winds are blowing” in that direction, Wolstat writes. Ross, a former No. 8 overall pick, is eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason.
- Valanciunas will also be up for a rookie scale extension this year, and Koreen suggests it’s likely that the Raptors will explore the notion of giving him one.