Toronto Raptors to promote assistant Nick Nurse to head coach

The Toronto Raptors are hiring assistant Nick Nurse to become the franchise’s new head coach, league sources told ESPN.

Nurse is finalizing contract terms with Toronto but met with president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster on Tuesday morning to accept the job, sources said.

Nurse, 50, replaces Dwane Casey, whom he worked under for the past five seasons. Nurse has six seasons of head-coaching experience in the NBA G League, where he won two championships and a coach of the year award.

The Raptors won a franchise-record 59 games this past regular season and had the No. 1 seed in Eastern Conference playoffs. But a sweep to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals cost Casey his job.

Casey was hired as the Detroit Pistons‘ head coach Monday. Nurse praised Casey during an interview earlier this year with Canada’s Sportsnet.

“I’ve learned a lot about preparation from [Casey], the seriousness of attention to detail,” Nurse told Sportsnet in February. “He’s been around the league a long time, and he’s seen it all. That’s the biggest thing. We have to prepare the players and can’t leave any stone unturned. We have to know everything the other team is doing and really work hard and grind it out.”

Nurse graduated from Northern Iowa and got his first head-coaching position at Grand View College when he was only 23. He spent more than a decade in Europe and also was an assistant coach for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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