Dwane Casey’s time at the helm of the Toronto Raptors has come to an end. Just days after the team was eliminated from the 2018 NBA Playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the third year in a row their season ended in such fashion, the Raptors decided it was time to move on from their coach for the last seven seasons.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Toronto has fired Casey two days after he was named the National Basketball Coaches’ Association Coach of the Year.
Soon after, the Raptors made word of their decision to fire Casey official.
In a statement, Raptors president Masai Ujiri explained the firing, saying “this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take.”
Casey went 320-238 during his time as the Raptors’ head coach, and led the team to the playoffs each of the last five years. This season, Toronto went 59-23 under Casey, the best single-season record in franchise history.
This should end up being a fairly in-demand job — outside of the fact that, you know, the potential NBA Coach of the Year just got fired from it — as the Raptors will bring back basically everyone from last year’s squad that just missed winning 60 games. Their only free agents are Lucas Nogueira and Fred VanVleet, so the core of the team will more or less remain in tact barring any trades.
But Toronto’s attempt to try and get past the Cavaliers yet again fell short this season, and instead of chalking things up to “they have LeBron James and we don’t,” the team decided that the answer is to bring in a new coach.