Dwane Casey will reportedly return to the Toronto Raptors next season after there were initial fears that the organisation may opt to fire him.
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The Raptors ended the regular season as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, but they were dealt an embarrassing blow by the Washington Wizards who swept them in their opening round series of the playoffs.
General manager Masai Ujiri has remained non-committal on Casey’s future to this point, particularly at his exit interview last month, and so speculation had suggested that the coach could be under threat.
However, the latest reports suggest that he will be back next year to lead the Raptors again, but based on the talk this off-season, he will be under immediate pressure to ensure that the team doesn’t slip up early on.
#Raptors' Dwane Casey no longer on hot seat. Per league sources, he’s returning to Toronto for next season, probably with new assistants.
— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) May 12, 2015
Over a third of the Raptors roster are set to become free agents this summer, and so if there is significant personnel changes, then the front office need to be comfortable and confident in their coach to lead the transition.
Initially it was thought that Ujiri would make the change when he first arrived, but the Raptors made a playoff push last season before repeating that feat this year.
Nevertheless, they will want to now make the leap from being a perennial playoff team to a legitimate contender, and it remains to be seen if Casey is the man to lead them especially if roster changes are made.
In contrast, it is expected that Ujiri will head up changes made to the coaching staff before next season, although for now he remains confident in Casey to lead the way.