Nick Nurse fired as Raptors coach; Sources say that Ime Udoka will be the candidate

Adrian WojnarowskiVeteran NBA Insider3 minutes of reading

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The Toronto Raptors Coach Nick Nurse was fired on Friday, clearing the way for Ime Udoka to become a serious candidate to replace him, sources told ESPN.

Nurse, who coached the Raptors to the franchise’s first NBA title in 2019, met with team president Masai Ujiri several times in recent days before the decision to fire him was made Friday, sources said.

“The decision to make such a transition is never easily reached or taken lightly, especially when it comes to a man who has been an integral part of this franchise’s most historic accomplishments and has been a consistent leader of our team through some of the most challenging times,” Ujiri said in a statement. “As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family and wish them the best in the future.

“This is an opportunity for us to reset and refocus the staff and players that will help us achieve our goal of winning our next championship.”

Nurse has one year and more than $8 million left on his contract, sources said.

Udoka has a long relationship with Ujiri and is expected to be a key part of the Raptors’ coaching search, sources said. Udoka was suspended Boston Celtics Before the start of the 2022-23 season, the team violated the rules several times. He was replaced by Joe Mazzulla, who was given the permanent coaching position in February.

The Raptors have several important individual decisions to make in the offseason, including free agents Fred VanVleet, Jacob Poeltl And Gary Trent And whether to extend Pascal, I’m sorry.

Nurse leaves Toronto with a 2019 championship, 2020 NBA Coach of the Year award and a 227-163 (.582) record in five seasons as coach. Toronto went 41-41 this season Chicago Bulls In Game 9-10 of the East play-in tournament.

He will become an important part Houston RocketsPractice search, which focuses on the former Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel and Udoka, sources told ESPN. Ex Charlotte Hornets Coach James Borrego also made a strong impression in his interview, sources said.

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