According to Toronto Sun Reporter Ryan Wolstat, who tweeted a quote from ESPN's Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors have the best chance at landing retired head coach Phil Jackson because of his old connection to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO, Tim Leiweke.
"I would, at this point, probably give the Raptors the best chance just because Tim Leiweke's there." Marc Stein on ESPN TrueHoop today— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) May 8, 2013
He also added this small tidbit to clarify things.
Forgot to state what Marc Stein was talking about with that quote. He was talking about Phil Jackson and the Raptors.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) May 8, 2013
To make the news even better, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Jackson would be open to coaching if and only if he had power over the roster he coached. In Toronto, you can bet your bottom dollar he would have that power if he was brought in.
Phil's been pretty clear. He wants influence over a franchise a la Riley in Miami. Prefers front office, but would coach if he's got power.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 8, 2013
What does Jackson bring to the Raptors?
Instant credibility for one. No longer will the Toronto Raptors be the laughing stock of the NBA due to their inability to keep drafted superstars such as Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and most recently Chris Bosh.
Jackson brings championship experience and can coach in dire situations. Yes, he inherited the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, but he did everything necessary in order for his team to succeed.
Even better news for the Raptors is he would likely have some pull with the referees. Too often last year the Raptors never got a break from the referees mostly because they were a team full of complainers no one knew about. They were coached by a first-time NBA coach, and in all honesty, he wasn't coaching them properly for most of the past few seasons.
If in fact GM Bryan Colangelo is on his last legs in Toronto, expect Dwane Casey to follow him on the way out.
I expect a decision on the Raptors' president, general manager and head coach to be made in the coming days. The Raptors will want all of this in place before the draft and the start of free agency.
This will ensure that they have ample time to woo potential free agents and gain some more respectability before the 2013-14 season begins. Hopefully for all Raptors fans, the boardroom makes a decision that best fits the franchise and gets the Raptors back on the road to winning the Atlantic and hopefully an NBA championship.