Help Wanted Ad for Toronto Raptors' Head Coaching Position
Now the organization has likely turned its attention to head coach Dwane Casey.
While Casey still has a year left on his contract, the Raptors are most likely shopping around to see what their options are in terms of a replacement head coach.
Let’s examine exactly what the Raptors need in a head coach in order to excel next season.
A Coach Who Can Improve Their Defense
Ironically, Dwane Casey was brought in to do just that, but he hasn’t seen much success.
The Raptors dropped from 14th to 22nd in the league in defensive efficiency this season.
The Raptors are outdone by their opponents in terms of rebounds, albeit just barely. They grab 10.6 offensive rebounds per game, while their opponents get 10.7, and they total 29.6 defensive rebounds, while their opponents grab 31.0 per game. This brings the Raptors to a minus-1.5 rebounds per game differential.
A new coach needs to figure out what obstacles are holding the Raptors back from more successful defensive play.
He also needs to be able to work with young stars like center Jonas Valanciunas to reach their potential as rebounders and defenders.
A Coach Who Gets Along with the New GM
MLSE has confirmed that Bryan Colangelo will no longer serve as the Raptors’ GM and expect to hire someone to fill the position within the next 30 days.
CEO of MLSE Tim Leiweke said of the decision, “There is accountability here. We need a new set of eyes and a new thinking about…how we go forward.”
However, Colangelo will stay with the organization as the Raptors’ president. Leiweke continued, “We have to work to do this in the organization. We’re not good enough. I still think Bryan can help in a lot of those areas.”
This means that the coach of the Raptors needs to cooperate with both the new GM and Colangelo. Though Colangelo appears to support Dwane Casey as head coach, a new GM may see things differently and call for a replacement.
A solid bond between the GM and head coach is key, and the Raptors will need this going forward into next season.
A Coach Who Gets Along with Kyle Lowry
The coach’s relationship with his point guard is probably his most valuable bond to forge, and that means that the Raptors’ ideal coach needs to get along well with Kyle Lowry.
As Eric Koreen of the National Post reported in March, the relationship between Dwane Casey and Kyle Lowry got off to a rocky start and is still “a work in progress.”
Perhaps as a result, Lowry didn’t have the most successful season at point guard. The 27-year-old averaged 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per 29.7 minutes of game play this season.
If Toronto wants to see a better leader and offensive facilitator in Lowry next season, the Raptors’ coach needs to be able to help him in his weak areas.
A Coach Who Can Promote Offensive Improvement
Currently, the Toronto Raptors rank 25th in three-point shooting with a percentage of .343 per game. They also rank 20th in field goals with a percentage of .446 per game.
The Raptors could use help, especially in terms of their shot selection and three-point shooting ability.
Toronto’s coach will need to focus on these areas of the Raptors offense in order to increase the efficiency of their scoring.
The Raptors have a few solid weapons in terms of shooting in Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan, and if these players can edit their shot selection, they will become even more powerful.
A Coach Who Can Make Quick Decisions About Questionable Players
Whoever assumes the head coach position for the Toronto Raptors needs to make a decision about big man Andrea Bargnani.
The power forward is shaping up to become dead weight, as he had a very disappointing 2012-13 season that ended early due to an elbow injury.
The Raptors’ coach may very well decide to unload Bargnani to another team and perhaps pick up another big player to help out Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas on the low post.
The coach also needs to determine whether or not Kyle Lowry needs a solid backup—or replacement—at point guard. Lowry didn’t have the most successful 2012-13 season, and the decision as to whether or not he needs help needs to be dealt with immediately.