Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Reports: Raptors finalizing deal with Darko Rajakovic as new coach

Field Level Media
11 Jun 2023, 07:19 GMT+10

The Toronto Raptors are finalizing a contract with Memphis assistant Darko Rajakovic to make him their new head coach, ESPN and Sportsnet reported Saturday.

Rajakovic, 44, would replace Nick Nurse, who was fired by the organization in April after five seasons and an NBA championship.

The hire also sews up the final head coaching vacancy in the NBA.

Rajakovic, who is Serbian, got his coaching start in Europe before becoming the head coach of the then-NBA D League's Tulsa 66ers from 2012-14. He has since been an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and then the Grizzlies the past three seasons.

The Raptors tabbed Rajakovic from a group of finalists that reportedly included Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee's Charles Lee, who was also a finalist for the Pistons' opening until Monty Williams became available.

Other candidates who interviewed or were linked to the post included Steve Nash, JJ Redick, Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon, and NBA assistant coaches Kevin Young, Mitch Johnson and Jordi Fernandez.

Nurse, who was named head coach in Philadelphia last week, compiled a 227-163 record during his five seasons as head coach of the Raptors. Nurse guided the Raptors to their lone NBA championship in franchise history in 2018-19.

--Field Level Media

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