Round and round the coaching carousel goes, and where it stops, nobody knows.
Actually, somebody knows. A few people. Like ESPN’s Marc Stein and the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko, who both report Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey will be named head coach of the Toronto Raptors as early as today.
You might remember Casey from such coaching stints as the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005-2007, which was cut short in the second season in the Land o’ Lakes after going 20-20. In retrospect, his 53-69 record ain’t that bad when you consider the “success” other coaches have had in Minnesota.
Casey’s another in a growing trend of defensive-minded assistants getting head coaching jobs. Obviously, Tom Thibodeau is the poster boy. But Casey isn’t walking into a Chicago-type situation either. Still, Toronto was about as bad as it got defensively last year, so they’re hoping Casey can change that. Their other finalist was Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank, who took over the “defensive coordinator” reins when Thibs bolted to mentor Derrick Rose.
Speaking of Frank, it’s looking more like he’ll be the guy in Detroit. A report out of Toronto last week said Frank “blew the Pistons away” in his interview. And with Casey gone, Frank’s competition for head coaching vacancies has virtually disappeared. The problem for Frank is, all of the good jobs are gone. The Pistons are a mess, which means his record won’t look very good for quite some time.
One of the guys THOUGHT to be headed for a cushy head coaching gig, Brian Shaw, is now set to interview with the Indiana Pacers for an associate head coaching position. That would let the Pacers keep Frank Vogel, who did a fine job taking over for the fired Jim O’Brien, while bringing in a guy with experience relating to players that can help Vogel out. And, should Vogel not pan out, Shaw can do what the Lakers wouldn’t let him do: slide into the head coaching slot.
With the draft just a couple of days away, these teams may move quickly to get their houses in order so they can move forward… at least for about a week. Then they can all go on vacation until the lockout ends.
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