The emergence of those names as possible replacements to a staff including Johnny Davis, Scott Roth, Tom Sterner and Micah Nori is not news, the fact they’ve already spoken to members of the Raptors front office would suggest significant change to Dwane Casey’s staff is at hand. Team sources said weeks ago that seeking permission to interview potential new assistant coaches was simply a due diligence process; the desire now for change with a new general manager in place has been hastened.
Casey, according to league sources, has already spoken at length with Ujiri and Leiweke and would seem safe from any purge. He has a year left on his contract.
If there is more sweeping change, the process will unfold midweek. Ujirii, who formally accepted Toronto’s offer on a five-year deal worth a reported $15 million (U.S.) on Friday, is expected to be formally introduced in Toronto on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Leiweke will hold meetings with MLSE staff on Monday, his first official day on the job.
Leiweke, when he first moved Colangelo out of the GM’s role, said he would let whoever he hired have the final decision on personnel matters, on the roster, the coaching staff and in the front office. But he made it no secret that he expected some significant improvement quickly.
But there is no doubt among NBA insiders that Ujiri has been given the mandate by his boss to make sweeping changes to a team that’s now missed the playoffs for five straight springs, the longest post-season drought in franchise history.
Also gone in the Stefanski purge are long-time scout Jim Kelly, pro scouting director, vice-president of pro scouting Dave Pendergraft and two regional scouts. One source also said Maurizio Gherardini, who has been working on a yearly contract as the team’s face in Europe, will also be gone after the weekend housecleaning.
The fate of former Raptor Alvin Williams, who moved from the front office to a scouting role last season, is undetermined.