Raptors Notes: Casey, Valanciunas, Lowry, DeRozan

Rival executives expect the Raptors to make a coaching change if they can’t rally from a 3-0 deficit against the Cavaliers, writes Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer. Dwane Casey is a Coach of the Year candidate after leading Toronto to a 59-win season, but his lack of playoff success may have caught up to him.

Toronto has three qualified replacements in its organization in assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse. Nurse, who recently interviewed with the Suns and Hornets about their head coaching vacancies, would be the favorite to take over if Casey is dismissed, according to O’Connor, who adds that Nurse played a bigger role than Casey in the changes the Raptors made to their offensive system.

There’s more today out of Toronto:

  • The series with the Cavaliers is displaying the problems with Toronto’s roster, O’Connor notes in the same story. The Raptors are short on defenders at the wing and forward, their big men aren’t versatile enough for the modern NBA game and they don’t have a superstar who can be the best player on the court in a playoff series. O’Connor states that even if LeBron James heads to the Western Conference in free agency, the Raptors will have difficulty getting past the Celtics or Sixers in the future.
  • With Toronto already in tax territory for next season and this year’s draft picks dealt away, O’Connor points to trades as the only realistic way to improve. He notes that the Raptors had interest in DeAndre Jordan before this year’s deadline and may explore that route again if he opts in. O’Connor states that a young player like Jakob Poeltl or Delon Wright would have to be included along with Jonas Valanciunas to get the Clippers’ interest. He suggests offering Lowry, C.J. Miles and Pascal Siakam to the Wolves for Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins. That would free Minnesota from the cap-clogging contract it gave to Wiggins, and it would pair Lowry and Jimmy Butler, who became friends during their Olympics experience.
  • DeMar DeRozan had his worst postseason game Saturday with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting and was benched for the final 14 minutes, notes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Casey told reporters not to read too much into the move and expressed confidence that DeRozan will get back to normal. “He had a tough night,” Casey said. “He wasn’t the reason we lost. We are professionals, he’s a pro. He has had tough games before, he’ll bounce back. But we have one more game, our pride is on the line, basically our season is on the line, but I think he’ll bounce back.”
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9 thoughts on “Raptors Notes: Casey, Valanciunas, Lowry, DeRozan

  1. Dionis

    Lol that’s insane, I actually proposed that Jeff and Wiggins trade on slamonline.

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      • the dude

        Nah. Lowry would fit in with the wolves, they don’t need Wiggins who would play excellent in a Canadian hero role. Teague would do better mentoring in Toronto.

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        • ThePriceWasRight

          Canadian hero? he’s Canadian but trading an all star point guard for a Canadian.

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        • yoyo137

          And the Raptors would lose the trade. Teague is declining fast. And to give up a good young big like Siakam and their only 3 pt shooter would make it even worse.

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          • moazetongue

            I agree yo-yo. Wiggins is no defender on the wing and he’s a ball stopper. Lowry IMHO is heads and tails better than Teague.

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  2. KCelts

    It’s almost like clockwork that one of Lowry or DeRozan shrink at some point every single postseason.

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  3. x%sure

    It is cute that the toronto writer thinks the raptors have all these problems. No defense on the wing & forward, center not versatile, no superstar. Only the last matters or is even true, but there is nothing to do about it.

    Just sign some leaders and win 60 again with Anunoby, Siakim, Poetl & Wright gaining experience, and quit complaining. No need to fire Casey.

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    • moazetongue

      I hunk Casey is a good coach. He’s had at least two very good game plans. But they won’t win if hey can’t hit shots.

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