Toronto Raptors Rumors: Top 3 Candidates For Head Coach

The Toronto Raptors are moving into a new era. With former championship coach Nick Nurse on the outs, the team must decide on a direction, a "reset" and "refocus" as team president Masai Ujiri put it, and it all starts with a new head coach. 

Right now there are three candidates being suggested as the leading contenders under consideration. 

1. Ime Udoka

There have been many league sources reporting that the deposed Boston Celtics coach, who was suspended by the team this past season, is "expected to be a serious candidate" (per Adrian Wojnarowski). He is said to have a long relationship with Ujiri. 

Udoka took the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first and only season as head coach there in 2022, but was relieved of his duties, in disgrace, after being suspended by the team for violating team policies, which included an inappropriate sexual relationship with a team staffer. It'll be a bit of a public relations massaging effort to bring him in, but it seems that he will almost certainly be back coaching in the NBA this coming season, somewhere or another. 

2. Patrick Mutombo

According to Shams Charania and Eric Koreen of The Athletic, the current Phoenix Suns assistant coach Mutombo is another candidate. He coached the Raptors 905 of the G League for two seasons before heading to join Monty Williams' staff in the desert.

Mutombo led the 905 to first place in the G League Eastern Conference in his two seasons at the helm, including the best record in the G League, 24-8, in his second year. He also served as an assistant in Toronto before that. 

3. Jerry Stackhouse

Another former Raptors assistant and 905 head coach is also among those that Charania and Koreen are hearing as possibilities that the Raptors will pursue. 

His record with the 905 (2016-2018) was about as good as it gets, with a .700 winning percentage, back-to-back G League Finals appearances and one league championship. He was the G League's 2016-17 Coach of the Year. He's currently the head coach at Vanderbilt.

There are many other candidates that will undoubtedly emerge in the coming days and weeks, and Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster will surely be doing their due diligence. 

Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports