Although the Raptors reportedly have serious interest in Mike Budenholzer as a potential head coach, the club is also doing its due diligence on possible candidates within the organization. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link), a pair of Raptors assistants will interview for the head coaching job on Tuesday, with Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian getting meetings.
Nurse, who has been linked to the Magic, Hornets, and Suns already this offseason, received the most votes in a poll conducted earlier this spring by Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports on the NBA assistants who most deserve a head coaching opportunity. Viewed as an offensive specialist on Dwane Casey‘s staff in Toronto, Nurse received much of the credit for helping to implement the Raptors’ new-look offense during the 2017/18 season.
As for Kalamian, he’s a more defensive-minded assistant, so the Raptors’ regressions on that side of the ball in recent months may hurt his candidacy, as Eric Koreen of The Athletic observes (Twitter link). However, Koreen adds that Kalamian is a smart, capable coach who is respected around the league. Before arriving in Toronto, Kalamian served as an assistant for the Thunder, Kings, Timberwolves, Nuggets, and Clippers.
It’s not clear yet if the Raptors will also meet with Jerry Stackhouse about their coaching vacancy. Stackhouse has received some head coaching buzz after leading the Raptors 905 – Toronto’s G League affiliate – to a G League championship in 2017 and another NBAGL Finals appearance in 2018.