OTG Series: Hire or Fire - Toronto Raptors Edition
For the first time ever, Off The Glass writers will be making some executive decisions regarding their favourite (or least favourite) teams, in the form of one suggested team hiring and a single team firing.
While all basketball fans can complain about the players on the court, we here at OTG are turning the blame game into an off-the-court naming exercise, where we can share our gripes with non-player personnel and offer meaningful suggestions for improvement.
Every organizational position is available here, aside from the players. Coaches, assistants, executives, video coordinators, scouts, even the mascots; everyone's resumes are on the table.
Without further ado, here is today's Hire or Fire piece on the Toronto Raptors.
Hire: David Nurse (Shooting Coach)
After Nick Nurse's whirlwind of a rookie head coaching season, the Raptors may decide it's best to keep things in the family; they'd be doing that here with a hire geared toward offensive development (particularly in the shooting department). They could also continue their recently established tradition of taking Brooklyn Nets cast-offs (hello, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson!) and aiming to develop them into something better.
What's not to love?
According to NetsDaily.com, David Nurse - the nephew of head coach Nick Nurse - spent about a month with the Brooklyn Nets from February until March of 2016; in that 25-game period, the Nets ranked first in the league in both 3PT% (40.7%) and overall FG% (48.5%). With a heavy dose prospect development seemingly on the horizon for the Raptors, a dedicated shooting coach could do wonders for their offensively-challenged project players, such as Stanley Johnson, RHJ, and Patrick McCaw.
Furthermore, the ascent of Pascal Siakam might only be curtailed by his shooting development; David Nurse could be the man to make significant strides with Spicy P in that department. His presence on the team's coaching roster would also indicate a shift toward embracing the Raptors' inevitable youth movement. Given the problem areas currently dotting the roster (such as scoring, shooting accuracy and volume, and an obvious need for youth development), David Nurse would be a worthwhile addition to an already well-rounded Toronto coaching staff.
His focus on transitioning to a more holistic training regimen (more details here) would also bring an added dimension of care quality to the Raptors organization. No one likes a one-dimensional player, so why would anyone want a one-dimensional coach? Nurse seems to understand this, and it's likely a franchise such as the Raptors (who used multiple two-way threats last season to produce an NBA championship) would value this, as well.
Fire: Aubrey Drake Graham (Global Brand Ambassador)
Okay, so maybe the Raptors don't really have to "fire" Drake, but they should at least consider re-structuring his role with the franchise. No other team has an under-contract public figure who is nearly as divisive in the media realm as Drake. Sometimes, that can work quite well for Raptors fans, as Toronto has proudly stood behind the 6ix god for as long as he has roamed the sidelines for his hometown team.
His antics, however, can be frustrating; perhaps they draw too much attention to what he's doing off the court, rather than the Raptors' accomplishments on the hardwood. There's also the matter of his fleeting fandom/tendency to bandwagon, which doesn't look too great for the franchise.
Ultimately, this pick is more about the excellent composition of the Raptors organization at the present time. The coaching staff is experienced, the front office is diverse and well-managed, and pole positions trending up the franchise hierarchy are filled by well-suited professionals. The mascot is still as hype as ever. There's really no one to pick on, besides Drake. Sorry Drake.