Perhaps the better question: Will George Karl consider Toronto as a realistic destination?
Reigning coach of the year George Karl has been let go by the Denver Nuggets, reportedly because he refused to start the maddeningly inconsistent JaVale McGee.
Karl set a new franchise record for games won, secured third place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference and could wind up in the Hall of Fame.
Suffice it to say that the loss of Karl will most likely be reflected in next year’s standings.
Would Karl be a fit for the Raptors?
Sam Mitchell’s success aside, the Toronto Raptors have not had a true stabilizing force on the bench since Lenny Wilkens.
George Karl has a proven pedigree and system, and he would be an amazing addition for the Raptors franchise.
Dwane Casey has proven to be a capable head coach, but if the opportunity to add someone like George Karl comes up—to replace a coach in the last year of his contract—it would be unwise to at least gauge Karl’s interest in coming north of the border.
Karl is exactly the type of coach who could get through to Kyle Lowry and help him inch closer to his full potential.
Should Masai make a call to George Karl?
Yes, Masai Ujiri should at least pick up the phone to see if Karl does indeed have any interest in Toronto versus the other franchises that will come calling, including the more talented Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets.
The Raptors, despite the presence of Rudy Gay, are in a bit of a mess with the whole Andrea Bargnani situation and will probably not be the most appealing destination for someone of Karl’s ilk.
However, the previous relationship that Masai and George share would play a factor in his decision-making process if Masai were to reach out to him. However, Yahoo Sports! reports that is not in the cards, according to league sources.
I would usually hope that the ‘league sources’ were wrong, but Adrian Wojnarowski is one of—if not the—best in the business.
Should the Raptors look to replace Dwayne Casey this year?
This is a resounding yes. With the likes of George Karl, Brian Shaw and the Van Gundy brothers all looking for head coaching gigs, this is indeed the year to be looking for a new head coach.
However, a new coach would likely increase Toronto's chances of making the playoffs and result in the Raptor's missing out on a very appealing draft lottery.
To my dismay, it does not look like Karl will be joining the Raptors. But, the Raptors should at least explore the option of hiring their own man this season in order to hasten the development of the identity and culture Masai and CEO Tim Leiweke have identified as an organizational priority.