It’s not that the Toronto Raptors were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We already know that LeBron James and Co. have the Raptors’ number. The past few playoffs have showed us this in a big way.
Instead, it’s all about how the Raptors were eliminated. They went down without any real fight in a four-game sweep, losing Monday’s finale by 35 points. Even prior to that game, there were reports surfacing around the Association that insiders believed head coach Dwane Casey would be fired (more on that here).
We now have a concrete report suggesting that the Raptors’ brass is indeed “leaning towards” parting ways with the head man.
“The evaluation period is ongoing but, according to sources, the Raptors are strongly leaning towards making a coaching change,” The Sports Network’s Josh Lewenberg reported Tuesday.
Prior to their premature playoff exit, the Raptors posted an Eastern Conference best 59-23 record. Said performance has Casey as a front runner to earn NBA’s Coach of the Year award. If he were indeed fired, it would be a rarity that a coach has earned that award the same year that he’s given his walking papers. Overall, Casey has led the Raptors to 48-plus wins in each of the past five seasons. Though, it has led to playoff disappointment at every turn.
Should Casey be shown the door, he would be a hot commodity on the coaching circuit. If that were to happen, the Raptors themselves might look to transition away from their current core of players and make a few surprising moves during the summer.