LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- General manager Bryan Colangelo is confident he made the right choice of the three assistants who could have replaced Sam Mitchell, and hopes Jay Triano stays in place awhile.
Triano, Alex English and Mike Evans were in the Denver hotel room when Mitchell said his goodbyes on Wednesday morning, but Triano emerged the successor.
Colangelo said this wasn't a choice based on Triano's Canadian passport to placate the locals or concerns the other two were lacking in some way, but was about Triano's seven-year history with the franchise and his work with several of the young Raptors.
"I've always said, never make a coaching change unless you have an exit strategy and over time, I've come to respect Jay's basketball acumen," Colangelo said.
"I've sensed the players respond well to him, if it was ever more evident in the game he coached last year (a win over New Jersey when Mitchell was away) and the relationship continued to grow."
Colangelo had to fire a few coaches in his time in Phoenix and likes to keep the hiring process in-house. English has seniority on Evans and Colangelo said his future as a head coach remains a bright one.
But if the 50-year-old Triano does well in the Raptors' remaining 65 games and gets a playoff spot, then his future here is secure.
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Colangelo pointed to a new group of coaches such as Erik Spoelstra in Miami who are not NBA legends, but worked their way up through the ranks.
"I don't like to go into these situations thinking interim means part time," Colangelo said. "Interim means he's filling in for the rest of the season. Jay will be judged on his body of work, not on a couple of games."