After another great regular season but disappointing playoff run, the Toronto Raptors have decided that a change was necessary and have fired head coach Dwane Casey.
Toronto has fired coach Dwane Casey, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 11, 2018
Casey was in the last year of his deal and while this is being viewed as a firing, is more like a non-extension and means he likely won’t be without employment for long. He exits the Raptors organization after being the winningest coach in franchise history with 320 wins, four Atlantic Division Titles, and five-straight playoff appearances. However, the problem with improving a team as much as Casey did, means having that same team win when it counts and the Raptors simply couldn’t do that.
They were recently swept by the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers and the series was not close with the exception of Game 1 that the Raptors lost in overtime. The strong defensive team had no response for James and were dispatched of easily sparking the need for drastic changes. It is change that not every fan or NBA insider will agree with. Many have suggested that while the Raptors should have been better, there will be few options more suitable for this team that Casey on the open coaching market and Casey changed the culture of one of the worst franchises in the NBA. He did so with class and dignity and this termination may be the organization upset and jumping the gun. Speculation is that Jerry Stackhouse might be a leading candidate to replace Casey.
The statement from the Raptors and Masai Ujiri on the firing was, “After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take.” As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and improve in order to get to the next level. We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that.”