Toronto Raptors Coaching Options: 8 Head Coaches That Colangelo Could Consider

Hasib MoeenAnalyst IIJune 2, 2011

Toronto Raptors Coaching Options: 8 Head Coaches That Colangelo Could Consider

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16:  Head coach Jay Triano of the Toronto Raptors watches his team in action against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 16, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    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.

Mike Krzyzewski

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, Nor
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Duke's legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski will not be coaching the Raptors next season.

    Coach K declined coaching the for the Lakers in '04, and last year the Nets offered $12-$15m/yr to him, but again he declined.

    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

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 23:  Coach Jeff Van Gundy of the Houston Rockets on the sidelines while playing the Utah Jazz during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Utah Jazz during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center on April 23, 2007
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    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

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05:  Head coach Phil Jackson (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles on the bench next to assistants Brian Shaw (C) and Jim Cleamons during the game with the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on November 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, Cal
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    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

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Philadelphia 76ers head coach Eddie Jordan calls out a play against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on February 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the 76ers 99-90. NOTE TO U
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    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.

Mike Woodson

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    ORLANDO, FL - MAY 04:  Head coach Mike Woodson of the Atlanta Hawks protests to an official while taking on the Orlando Magic in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 4, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    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.

Lawrence Frank

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28:  Assistant coach Lawrence Frank of the Boston Celtics reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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.

    The Celtics brought in Lawrence Frank as an assistant coach after Tom Thibodeau went over to Chicago, surprisingly the older Celtics improved their record by six wins with Frank replacing Thibbs.

    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

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04:  Head Coach John Kuester of the Detroit Pistons watches play during a 108-83 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on January 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and ag
    Harry How/Getty Images

    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.

    Kuester was a good assistant for the Pistons when they won the championship, and also served as an assistant for Cleveland for their two best seasons with Lebron.

    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.

Rick Adelman

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets signals a play in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Rick Adelman was not kept by the Rockets after they've missed the playoffs a second straight season.

    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.

Mark Jackson

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 23: NBA basketball player Mark Jackson attends Kinect for Xbox 360 Launch Party held at a private residence on October 23, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Xbox)
    Jordan Strauss/Getty Images

    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.


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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Head coach Jay Triano of the Toronto Raptors leads his team against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or usin
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    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.