Raptors Rumors

Raptors Interview Jerry Stackhouse For Coaching Job

The Raptors interviewed their G League head coach, Jerry Stackhouse, for their head coaching job last week in Chicago, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

Familiarity could work in Stackhouse’s favor. He moved into a coaching two years after he retired in 2013, serving as an assistant to former coach Dwane Casey. He took over the head coaching job with Raptors 905 prior to the 2016-17 season and guided them to a championship. They lost in the finals to Austin this past season.

The Raptors were reportedly interested in hiring ex-Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer before he selected the Bucks. Stackhouse is just one of three in-house candidates being considered as Casey’s replacement. Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian also fall into that category.

Stackhouse is also considered a candidate for the Pistons’ head coaching position. Detroit was one of the teams Stackhouse played for during his long NBA career. He was one of many candidates interviewed by the Knicks before they chose former Grizzlies head man David Fizdale.

Combine Notes: Bridges, Sixers, DiVincenzo, Sexton

Michigan State wing Miles Bridges, a probable lottery pick, interviewed with the Bulls, Pacers, Kings, Cavaliers, Spurs, Nuggets, and Clippers earlier this week, and was set to meet with the Sixers, Hornets, and Knicks on Friday, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bridges is one of several intriguing prospects the Sixers are meeting with in Chicago this week, according to Pompey, who adds Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr., Michigan State power forward Jaren Jackson Jr., and IMG Academy guard Anfernee Simons to that list. Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo was also scheduled to interview with Philadelphia on Friday, Pompey tweets.

Finally, Pompey has details on Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo, who has been impressing NBA evaluators at this week’s combine and says he’s received plenty of “positive feedback.” According to Pompey, DiVincenzo has had meetings with the Lakers, Magic, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Hawks, and Grizzlies in Chicago.

Here’s more on meetings taking place at the combine:

Three NBA Head Coaching Searches Still Active

Not a single NBA team made a head coaching change during the 2017 offseason, but the market has course-corrected so far in 2018. Already, five clubs – the Suns, Knicks, Hawks, Hornets, and Bucks – have reached agreements with new head coaches since the regular season ended, with a sixth club (the Grizzlies) elevating its interim head coach to the permanent role.

While those six teams have completed their coaching searches, there are more changes still to come, as three other clubs remain on the lookout for new head coaches. Here’s the latest on those searches:

Detroit Pistons

We haven’t heard much yet about the Pistons’ search for a new head coach, but that makes sense, since the club is also in the market for a new head of basketball operations — Stan Van Gundy held both roles.

Initial reports indicated that the Pistons would likely focus on finding someone for that front office role first, to ensure that person would have some say in the coaching search. That remains the team’s preference, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who says the goal is to have a new head of basketball operations in place within the next couple weeks (Twitter links). ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski passed along a partial list of candidates on Wednesday.

While the front office hire could dictate which direction the Pistons go for a head coach, former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and Raptors 905 coach Jerry Stackhouse have been cited as possible targets.

Orlando Magic

As promised, the Magic have certainly taken their time with their head coaching search. Orlando fired Frank Vogel on April 12, one day after the regular season ended, so the team has now been without a head coach for five weeks.

In addition to being patient, the Magic have also been quite secretive, declining to confirm whether or not they’re considering some rumored candidates. We know they’ve interviewed Trail Blazers assistant David Vanterpool and Spurs assistant Ime Udoka. David Fizdale also met with Orlando, but has since been hired by the Knicks.

Recently, reports have indicated that the Magic’s top candidate may be a surprise choice: University of Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson. Orlando president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond both worked in the Bucks’ front office back when Sampson served as an assistant coach in Milwaukee, so presumably they know him well.

While Sampson’s link to the Magic front office could pay off, it doesn’t appear that a link to Weltman – a former Raptors GM – will pay off for Toronto’s Nick Nurse or Jerry Stackhouse. They were initially believed to be candidates, but reportedly haven’t been interviewed for the job.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors may have lost their top choice on Wednesday, when Mike Budenholzer – who met with Toronto on Monday – reached an agreement to coach the Bucks. With the former Hawks coach off the market, it’s not clear which direction the Raptors will go.

As Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca writes today, the other known candidates to replace Dwane Casey are all in-house coaches. Nick Nurse, Rex Kalamian, and Jerry Stackhouse have interviewed for the position, according to Grange, who suggests that Nurse may be the favorite of those three based on his excellent work with Toronto’s offense.

Still, it’s not a lock that the Raptors will pick one of their internal candidates. In fact, Grange says he’d be “very surprised” if team president Masai Ujiri doesn’t cast a wider net in the coming days — or even weeks.

While it’s possible that another team could join the Pistons, Magic, and Raptors in a search for a new head coach, the odds of that happening seem less and less likely.

Teams that have been eliminated from the postseason – or didn’t make it to begin with – probably wouldn’t drag their feet this long before making a change.

As for the four teams still alive, Tyronn Lue is the only one of those four head coaches whose seat may be heating up, but I don’t think he’s in any immediate danger of being fired by the Cavaliers.

To keep tabs on the NBA’s head coaching updates for the rest of the spring, be sure to check out our tracker.

2018 NBA Draft Picks By Team

While the Sixers were knocked out of the 2018 playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the underdog Celtics, few teams are better positioned in this year’s draft than Philadelphia. The 76ers own six of the 60 picks in the 2018 NBA draft, including a pair of first-rounders.

As our full 2018 draft order shows, the Sixers are one of seven NBA teams that holds more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, eight teams have just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Heat and Raptors – don’t have any selections.

To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2018 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…

Teams with more than two picks:

  • Philadelphia 76ers (6): 10, 26, 38, 39, 56, 60
  • Phoenix Suns (4): 1, 16, 31, 59
  • Atlanta Hawks (4): 3, 19, 30, 34
  • Dallas Mavericks (3): 5, 33, 54
  • Orlando Magic (3): 6, 35, 41
  • Denver Nuggets (3): 14, 43, 58
  • Brooklyn Nets (3): 29, 40, 45

Teams with two picks:

  • Sacramento Kings: 2, 37
  • Memphis Grizzlies: 4, 32
  • Chicago Bulls: 7, 22
  • New York Knicks: 9, 36
  • Charlotte Hornets: 11, 55
  • Los Angeles Clippers: 12, 13
  • Washington Wizards: 15, 44
  • San Antonio Spurs: 18, 49
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 20, 48
  • Utah Jazz: 21, 52
  • Indiana Pacers: 23, 50
  • Los Angeles Lakers: 25, 47
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: 53, 57

Teams with fewer than two picks:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers (1): 8
  • Milwaukee Bucks (1): 17
  • Portland Trail Blazers (1): 24
  • Boston Celtics (1): 27
  • Golden State Warriors (1): 28
  • Detroit Pistons (1): 42
  • Houston Rockets (1): 46
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1): 51
  • Miami Heat (0)
  • Toronto Raptors (0)

Budenholzer Was First Choice In Toronto?

Mike Budenholzer, who agreed tonight to be the Bucks’ next head coach, was also the Raptors’ top choice, tweets Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. Budenholzer met with Toronto’s front office on Monday, but no job offer was extended, relays ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Assistant coach Nick Nurse appears to be the current front-runner for the Raptors’ job, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports (Twitter link). Nurse has spent the past five seasons as part of former coach Dwane Casey’s staff.

Lewenberg describes him as a “forward, innovative thinker,” which is an important quality to the Toronto front office (Twitter link). He adds that there’s a good chance someone else will hire Nurse if the Raptors don’t make him their head coach.

Toronto seems very focused on internal candidates, Lewenberg notes, as fellow assistant Rex Kalamian is being considered for the opening, along with Jerry Stackhouse, head coach of Raptors 905 in the G League (Twitter link). Other than Budenholzer, no one from outside the organization has interviewed for the position.

Stay current with all the latest coaching news with our 2018 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Bucks To Hire Mike Budenholzer

7:08pm: Darvin Ham, Budenholzer’s top assistant in Atlanta, will accompany him to Milwaukee and may be joined by the rest of the staff, according to David Aldridge of TNT (Twitter link).

6:47pm: Budenholzer will sign a four-year contract, Wojnarowski tweets.

6:17pm: Mike Budenholzer has agreed to become the Bucks’ next coach, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Clues began to emerge over the past two days that Budenholzer was the top choice for the job. He met with team management and ownership yesterday, then had breakfast this morning with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Budenholzer spent the past five seasons as the head coach of the Hawks before parting ways with the franchise last month. Atlanta launched a rebuilding project this year after four straight playoff appearances and Budenholzer reportedly didn’t want to go through that process. He was 213-197 with the Hawks, including a 24-58 record this season.

He succeeds interim coach Joe Prunty, who took over the team when Jason Kidd was fired in January. Prunty, who compiled a 21-16 mark, was among the coaches who interviewed for the opening, along with Ettore MessinaSteve CliffordMonty WilliamsDavid BlattBecky Hammon and Jay Larranaga. Messina was also considered a finalist and met with Bucks ownership on Tuesday as well.

Budenholzer was among the most popular candidates on the market, getting permission from the Hawks to interview with the Suns and Knicks while he was still their coach. He also had an interview Monday with the Raptors, according to Wojnarowski, but Toronto didn’t make an offer.

The Bucks are the sixth team to fill a vacancy in what has been an active offseason for coaching changes. The Pistons, Raptors, and Magic are still in the market for head coaches. Keep up to date with all the developments with our 2018 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raptors Rumors: DeRozan, Budenholzer, HC Search

  • Within his weekly newsletter for The Times, Stein writes that “word is” the Raptors quietly explored the possibility of trading DeMar DeRozan during the 2017 offseason. That doesn’t mean that the Raps want to move DeRozan or that they’ll explore trade options for him again this summer. However, Stein fully expects Toronto to do its due diligence on the trade market — not just with DeRozan, but with everyone on the roster.
  • There’s a general belief that the Milwaukee head coaching job is the one Mike Budenholzer wants most, but that’s not a lock, according to Stein, who suggests that the former Hawks coach will have multiple meetings with both the Bucks and Raptors. Stein writes that Budenholzer “could well have preferences that outsiders aren’t privy to” after those meetings. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has said that the Raptors opened talks with Budenholzer over the weekend and continued those conversations on Monday, while Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca tweeted today that Toronto has already met with Budenholzer.
  • Speaking of the Raptors‘ head coaching job, Stein also reported on Monday that Toronto is interviewing assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian for that position today.

Raptors To Interview Nurse, Kalamian For HC Job

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.

Budenholzer Receiving Strong Interest From Bucks, Raptors

9:34am: The Bucks will meet with Budenholzer for a second time on Tuesday, reports Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). According to Velazquez, Bucks ownership will be involved in the meeting.

9:00am: Former Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has emerged as the focus of the Bucks’ and Raptors’ coaching searches, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Budenholzer has been considered a strong candidate for Milwaukee’s head coaching job for much of the year, with a report in early May indicating that he and Monty Williams are potential favorites to replace interim coach Joe Prunty. Budenholzer was reportedly one of several candidates to meet with the Bucks last week, and the team intends to re-engage with him early this week, sources tell Wojnarowski.

As for the Raptors, Budenholzer was the first outside candidate to surface in their coaching search, shortly after they parted ways with Dwane Casey. Wojnarowski reports that Toronto is “opening” conversations with the former Atlanta coach.

The Bucks and Raptors are two of four teams currently seeking a new head coach, joining the Pistons and Magic. While Budenholzer hasn’t been linked to the Orlando job at all, he’s said to be on Detroit’s radar. A source confirmed to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that Budenholzer is “under consideration” by the Pistons.

Dwane Casey Thanks Raptors Fans, Organization

  • Former Raptors coach Dwane Casey penned a letter thanking fans for welcoming him and his family during his time with the organization. “Coaches know that this is an industry built on change, and we willingly accept that reality,” he wrote. “They say that “Home is not a place … it’s a feeling;” so thank you Toronto for making us feel at home here.”