The Toronto Raptors won’t have Jay Triano as their head coach next season.
Triano will take on a new role as Special Assistant to Raptors’ President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.
The Raptors were the third worst team in the NBA this season with a record of 22-60. Only the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) and Minnesota Timberwolves (17-65) were worse.
Triano, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, cannot be blamed exclusively for the Raptors’ downfall this season. The Raptors were not in a great position to win, having lost their best player, Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat last summer.
The Raptors were just not in a financial position to go on the free agent market and replace a player of Bosh’s talents last year.
Injuries were also a major factor. Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza all missed significant time due to various ailments.
So who is on the block?
My favourite is PJ Carlesimo, who was a Raptors’ assistant coach last year. I think he was a person Colangelo had in mind to possibly replace Triano when he felt the timing was right. Obviously it’s now. Carlesimo has coaching experience with the Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Supersonics, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite a record of 204-296, he has experience helping teams start in the rebuilding process.
Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy, both analysts for ABC are available. Van Gundy has coaching experience with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets and is the brother of Jeff Van Gundy the Orlando Magic. Jackson was apparently a finalist for the Knicks’ job a couple of years ago, when they went with Mike D’Antoni instead.
Another person with television experience is Canadian National Team coach Leo Rautins who is currently a basketball analyst on Sportsnet and TSN. Rautins played briefly in the NBA with Philadelphia and Atlanta before going on to play professionally in Europe.
There are also two assistant coaches with excellent resumes on the block. Lawrence Frank is an assistant coach with Boston who has head coaching experience with New Jersey and Maurice Cheeks is an assistant coach with Oklahoma City who has head coaching experience with Portland and Philadelphia.
Finally, Rick Adelman is probably the best coach available, but at 64, I don’t know if he has the drive to coach much longer. He has coached 1561 games in the NBA, winning 945 of them, with a .605 winning percentage. He has also taken the Portland Trailblazers to the NBA Finals twice and the Sacramento Kings to eight straight playoff appearances including the 2002 Western Conference Finals. Adelman was fired by the Houston Rockets on April 18th and replaced by Kevin McHale, despite going 43-39 this past season.
Tags: Andrea Bargnani, atlanta hawks, boston celtics, bryan colangelo, Chris Bosh, Cleveland Cavaliers, golden state warriors, houston rockets, jay triano, jeff van gundy, jose calderon, lawrence frank, leandro barbosa, Leo Rautins, linas leiza, mark jackson, maurice cheeks, mike d'antoni, minnesota timberwolves, new jersey nets, New York Knicks, oklahoma city thunder, Orlando Magic, philadelphia 76ers, pj carlesimo, portland trail blazers, rick adelman, sacramento kings, seattle supersonics, stan van gundy, Toronto Raptors