Even though there was some speculation that Toronto Raptors newly hired general manager Masai Ujiri should consider firing head coach Dwane Casey, the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year decided to keep him on board.
“I’m excited about moving forward and growing this team with coach Casey,” Ujiri said in a team release, according to ESPN.com.
Ujiri was brought in to make some drastic changes within the organization in order to improve the Raptors going forward. Typically, newly hired general managers are uncomfortable with a head coach they did not hire taking the reins. There is a reason why the previous general manager was fired and that was because the team he built did not perform at a high level. Therefore, new executives like to clear house so they are not responsible for a team that was not completely theirs in the first place.
However, Casey’s situation is an exception. The coach only has one year left on his contract, which means Ujiri will give him one more season to prove his worth. If Toronto can succeed in the Eastern Conference next season and clinch a postseason berth then Casey could see an extension. However, if the team shows no improvement then Ujiri can feel comfortable moving on to a coach of his liking.
Even though the Raptors improved on their record slightly in their second season under Casey, there still needs to be a big change in the win column in 2013-14. Not to mention, making the playoffs is a must going forward.