NBA Rumors: Nick Nurse's Future In Toronto Comes Into Question

The Toronto Raptors are currently on a franchise-defining seven-game road trip. Do well, and they might be able to convince the front office to keep the team together. But if it falls apart, not only might some big names get dealt, but according to the latest report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, head coach Nick Nurse's future could come into play.

Nick Nurse’s future as Raptors head coach is expected to come into focus this summer, when sources say he will be entering the final year of his contract going into next season. After the 2019-20 season, Nurse – who guided the Raptors to the 2019 NBA championship, won Coach of the Year in 2020, and is regarded among the league’s best coaches – signed a contract extension through 2023-24 worth $8 million per year. The length of the deal has not been previously disclosed by the team. There’s been frustration throughout the roster and staff with the team’s play at points of this season, and that has been directed toward Nurse at times too, according to sources.

Nurse has come under fire at times from Raptors observers for refusing to have faith in his bench, and playing his starters to the bone. Once again this season, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are among the minutes-played leaders in the NBA, with Siakam first at 37.7 minutes per game, and VanVleet fourth at 36.9. 

Last season, the two of them were tied for 3rd in the league at 37.9 minutes per contest. The intense workload wore down VanVleet, to the point of injuries costing him 17 games, and hampering his performance at times, which is being seen again this season with some uncharacteristically poor shooting nights (though that has gotten much better of late).

Nurse is clearly one of the most inventive and creative coaches in the league, and his record speaks for itself. But it'll be interesting to see if this Raptors season changes some minds in the front office as he's set to enter the final year of his contract next season. 

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