Report: Raptors coaching search down to Nick Nurse, Ettore Messina

Mar 8, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Antonio Spurs head assistant coach Ettore Messina cheers on the team in the first quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors are reportedly down to just two men in their search for a new head coach and will make a decision within the next two weeks.

Josh Lewenberg of, citing two sources, reported the Raptors will choose between Toronto assistant Nick Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina.

Messina has been a candidate seemingly for every head coaching vacancy the past couple of years. He’s been an assistant to Gregg Popovich in San Antonio since 2014 and has also won the EuroLeague championship four times.

Nurse obviously has an in with the organization, having been with Toronto since 2013. According to Lewenberg, he has also been a favorite to land the job since general manager president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster first started looking for a replacement following Dwane Casey’s exit.

Former NBA player Jerry Stackhouse had also been strongly considered for this vacant position, but he joined the Memphis Grizzlies.

Whoever does land this job will certainly have his work cut out. Despite finishing as the top seed in the east this past season, the Raptors haven’t been able to do much of anything in the playoffs and appear to need an overhaul in order to seriously compete against the best teams in the conference.