Iavaroni drops in to 'observe' Raps

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

A few eyebrows were raised yesterday when Marc Iavaroni attended Raptors practice.

Respected throughout the league, Iavaroni will spend the week "observing'' the team, a Raptors official said.

When he ran the Phoenix Suns, general manager Bryan Colangelo brought in Rick Carlisle for a similar purpose.

In theory, the more input an executive receives by trusted eyes, the better he is able to assess his team.

Colangelo has to decide whether to remove the interim tag from coach Jay Triano or go in a different direction.

Iavaroni was linked to Toronto a few years ago, but his first head coaching gig came in Memphis in 2007 with the Grizzlies.

Iavaroni lasted 11/2 seasons with the Grizzlies before he was relieved of his duties.

Iavaroni compiled a record of 33-90, but he wasn't given a chance to succeed in Memphis, especially after the team traded its best player, Pau Gasol, to the Los Angeles Lakers, basically for nothing.

One could argue Triano hasn't had much to work with, either.

Iavaroni has worked with the likes of Mike Fratello, Pat Riley and Mike D'Antoni.

Iavaroni will be back in the NBA next season because he knows his stuff, but it's just a question of job description and location.

Toronto cannot be ruled out.


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