Ever since they won their only championship in 2019, the Toronto Raptors have been looking for ways to remain as one of the top-tier teams in the Eastern Conference.
The 2020-21 season was rough for Toronto, as they finished with their worst record in about a decade, but the 2021-22 season spent to be a valuable bounce-back season, even though they were eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs.
Pascal Siakam continued to grow into an all-around star in the frontcourt for them, Fred VanVleet emerged as a first-time All-Star and rookie Scottie Barnes received this season’s Rookie of the Year award.
Now, entering the offseason, there is a ton of speculation about what the future holds for this franchise not only roster-wise, but in terms of who the head coach will be on the sideline.
Nick Nurse’s future as a head coach is not in doubt whatsoever, as he is heavily regarded as one of the more dedicated and well-respected coaches in the entire league, but some teams have been linked to him in offseason rumors, most notably the Los Angeles Lakers after they fired their head coach in Frank Vogel, a surprising move given Vogel just won a championship with Los Angeles in 2020.
When talking to reporters on Monday, the topic of head coaching vacancies and rumors around the league was brought up and Nurse was quick to speak on his true intentions.
“I don’t know where that stuff comes from and I’m focused on coaching this team,” Nurse said in his press conference. Rumored interest from the Raptors head coach in the Lakers coaching vacancy was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania in early-April.
Ever since he took over the head coaching role for the Toronto Raptors in 2018, Nick Nurse has been beloved by the Raptors ’fan base and it seems like that love goes both ways. Nurse has been happy in Toronto and has had no problems with management, which is why they have been a very successful organization over the years.
“Masai and I have a great relationship mostly because we want to win championships … That’s what I sense he’s trying to do everyday and that’s what I’m trying to do everyday … It was a great season but a 1st round exit is not what we want to do, ”Nurse went on to say during his end-of-season press conference.
When asked about Toronto’s ability to recruit players and get what they want in a free agency, Nurse stated that he would want to “play here if he was a free agent.”
Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby make up a really strong starting-five in this league, which is why Toronto is definitely a team to watch in regards to championship contending status heading into the 2022-23 season, especially if they can add a little bit more depth to their roster this offseason.
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