Report: Raptors fire Nick Nurse, with Ime Udoka expected to be serious candidate to replace him

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing 2022-23 season, the Toronto Raptors are moving in a new direction at head coach.

The team has reportedly fired Nick Nurse.

Former Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who has seemingly become a popular name in coaching searches lately, is reportedly a serious candidate to take over the Raptors job.

Nurse’s time with the Raptors will be remembered best for the team’s 2019 championship, which came in his first season as the organization’s head coach. The 55-year-old will surely land on his feet and is reportedly expected to be a key candidate for the Houston Rockets in their coaching search.

After winning the NBA title in the 2018-19 season, Nurse and the Raptors were never able to make another deep playoff run. Nurse did win Coach of the Year honors in the 2019-20 campaign, but after the championship year, the team only won one playoff series in four seasons under him.

This season, the Raptors didn’t show tons of growth in a year where they were expected to. The squad finished the regular season with a 41-41 record and lost in the play-in tournament, missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.

If the organization plays its cards right, Toronto should have a bright future. There are some promising pieces in place for the squad, though it will have some key decisions to make this offseason. Now, finding a new head coach will need to be one of those decisions.

When it comes to Nurse’s future, he’d be a big hire for the Rockets. It’s not very common for a former Coach of the Year and championship-winning skipper to hit the open market, so it’s no mystery why Houston is being linked to Nurse already. The hire would certainly spark some excitement around the franchise.

Time will tell what the future holds for both the Raptors and Rockets. The two organizations are ultimately hoping to return to title contention in the near future, and it’ll be interesting to see who’s leading the way for them when the 2023-24 NBA regular season begins in several months.

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