Raptors GM Masai Ujiri noted that coach Dwane Casey‘s job was safe regardless of how the team performs in the playoffs, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports relays (via Twitter). “He’s been phenomenal, I think,” Ujiri said of Casey. “Whether it’s reading games, or adjustments and just growth overall as a coach. To be honest, everybody makes such a big deal about, like okay if we don’t go past the first round what’s going to happen? Coach Casey deserves to be the coach, that’s 100% and I stand by that. He deserves to be our coach in the future because he’s put in the work to bring winning to our program. Players have responded well and it’s translated a little bit. We hope that it translates to the playoffs and I’m very hopeful that it will because he’s a defensive-minded coach. I think he’s been tremendous for us.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- San Diego State sophomore small forward Malik Pope intends to test the waters and declare for the 2016 NBA draft, the University announced. Pope, who is the No. 25 overall sophomore according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and the No. 46 overall player according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, won’t hire an agent which will allow him to return to school should he withdraw prior to the May 25th deadline. “Malik Pope, with our consultation and approval, has submitted his name to the NBA for the upcoming draft, but will not hire an agent, allowing himself the opportunity to return to San Diego State,” coach Steve Fisher said. “With the rule change, it is a great opportunity for Malik to get workouts and evaluations from NBA personnel. Together, we will monitor his progress.”
- Bucks coach Jason Kidd dismissed the rumors that say his job may be in jeopardy and said he wanted to remain in Milwaukee for the long-term, Matt Velazquez of The Journal Sentinel tweets. The coach, who still has one season remaining on his deal, said he doesn’t plan on broaching the subject of a contract extension this summer, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel relays (via Twitter).
- Oklahoma senior power forward Ryan Spangler has hired agent Keith Kreiter of Edge Sports to represent him, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter).
- Potential 2016 second-rounder Jake Layman has signed with Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com tweets. The senior power forward from Maryland averaged 11.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in 35 appearances on the season for the Terrapins.