Toronto Raptors Coaching Options: 8 Head Coaches That Colangelo Could Consider
It was announced recently that the Toronto Raptors will not pick up Jay Triano's option ending his short career as a head coach with the Toronto Raptors.
The move was surprising as Colangelo had only great things to say about Triano during his press conference at the seasons end.
It was made clear that the Raptors' record should be not be attributed to Triano, and that Jay Triano "sacrificed" his ego for the sake of the team. In other words: Colangelo told him to lose, lose bad (to be in the best draft status possible).
Despite this, Colangelo given an extension himself felt it'd be better if the Raptors went forward with a new head coach. He was following a "gut feeling", and will look to bring in a big name coach to replace Jay.
Jay has developed a good relationship with the players, and will still be a part of the franchise. In order for this to really be a smart decision, Colangelo must bring in a good replacement.
Here are some coaches which Toronto will consider looking at.
Duke's legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski will not be coaching the Raptors next season.
The chances of the Raptors paying that much for a coach is less than 1 percent, let alone getting Krzyzewski to sign.
There has been no indication he wants out of Duke, but he could always retire from college basketball and coach a NBA team.
There have been rumors that the Nets will be offering him $20m/yr to play for them next season, but I doubt there is any legitimacy in those rumors.
Still, Is he a coach that the Raptors could use!? Sure :D.
Jeff Van Gundy
JVG wasn't likely to coach again, but recently has been hinting towards coaching again.
ESPN and ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy is very popular for his comedic rants while commentating basketball games, but he's a heck of a coach.
Van Gundy was a defensive minded coach who coached the Knicks for seven years and the Rockets for four years. Van Gundy has coached winning teams in 10 out of 11 seasons, and would fit the bill for Toronto.
Thought I wouldn't mind getting JVG, I'd pass if he would be pricey. Signing coaches to large salaries just isn't worth it in my opinion.
Brian Shaw was one of the top nominee's looking to replace Phil Jackson. Former Cleveland coach Mike Brown got the Gig, but Brian Shaw should be looked at by Toronto.
Assistant coaches don't get the hype a lot of former coaches get, but they can turn out great very early (like Tom Thibodeau).
Being a student under Phil Jackson (aka greatest coach of all time) for six seasons could mean Shaw will make a great head coach in the NBA.
He is definitely one to consider moving forward for the Raptors.
Eddie Jordan isn't someone who's name would pop out at you, but he's been a solid in his nine seasons as a head coach.
Coaching the Wizards, Jordan held a 197/224 record, and the team made the playoffs four out of six seasons with Jordan being the head coach. After a 1-10 start Jordan was fired early in his sixth season as 76ers head coach.
Jordan Coached the 76ers for a year and was replaced by Doug Collins after the Sixers finished with 27 wins. Eddie Jordan also coached the Kings in 1996-97 and 1997-98 both being losing seasons.
Ultimately he's not the best coach out there, but didn't have much to work with throughout his coaching career.
The Raptors could look at Jordan, personally I'd rather pass.
Woodson was the former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Woodson Coached Atlanta for six seasons making the playoffs three times.
Woodson was let go in May, 2010 after the Hawks failed to make it past the second round for the second straight season, a destination the Raptors wouldn't mind reaching next season.
The Hawks went from being a 13-win team when Woodson first became head coach to being a 52-win team when he left. Mike Woodson took the young Hawks and made them relevant, improving every season.
That is something which the Raptors would like, as too many "up and coming" teams fail to improve despite having all the tools needed.
Colangelo should be looking at Mike Woodson as one of the top candidates.
A lot of people think about a 12-win New Jersey Nets team when the name Lawrence Frank is mentioned.
The truth is, Frank is a pretty good coach. Frank has coached four winning teams in seven seasons as a head coach in the NBA.
Did the Celtics win more because they changed assistant coaches? No, but still they didn't get worse, which means a lot since Thibodeau won Coach of the Year.
Frank is a possible candidate for Toronto.
John Kuester is expected to be fired after another terrible season in Detroit, but isn't technically available as of now.
Several Piston players supposedly tried to boycott Kuester last season not showing up to practice. The Players denied it, but it was made clear the coaching situation in Detroit wasn't going very well.
Joe Dumars was high on Kuester when he first appointed him as head coach, but there hasn't been any good result from the move as of now.
Perhaps he'd do better coaching a more stable team. Detroit is log-jammed in multiple positions, and players have been displeased with minutes among other problems.
As much as I don't expect or want this to happen, there is a chance that Kuester is looked at by the Raptors if he does get sacked.
The Rockets were a very solid team after the All-Star break, and Adelman coached the changed-team on the fly successfully.
Adelman is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Adelman has coached for two decades and is 10th in all-time coaching wins. Adelman holds an impressive win percentage of 60.5 percent per season as a coach.
That's an average of 50 wins per year.
It is rumored that Adelman may want to be a G.M for next season, but if he doesn't find a team, the Raptors will gladly take him as a head coach.
Personally I'd want Adelman over anybody else available, he is a very good coach.
Another ESPN analyst and former All-Star; Mark Jackson could be a good fit for the Raptors.
Jackson was a great floor General ranking third overall in all time assists. Mark Jackson hasn't gotten a coaching job yet, and It'd be a smart move to appoint him as head coach of the Raptors.
Jackson knows the game in and out, and is a popular figure in Basketball. Developing a young core is a sensitive matter, and Mark Jackson's career has been about making those around him better.
Colangelo should look at Mark Jackson as a candidate for head coach especially if some of the other "big name" guys aren't interested.
Brian Colangelo will have to sign a very good Coach in order to upgrade over Triano. Triano would be a better fit for Toronto than some of the coaches which I've mentioned, and I honestly think he's been getting more heat then he deserves.
Still, With Adelman, JVG, Woodson, or Brian Shaw, Toronto's youth could improve defensively and still maintain a high powered offense.
I'd like to end by noting I've likely missed some names which some of you might feel would fit well as Toronto's Head Coach, so please comment and tell me what you think!
Thanks for reading.