Experience and defence

Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo walks past the dressing rooms as the team packs up their...

Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo walks past the dressing rooms as the team packs up their bags after losing in New Jersey May 5, 2007. (VERONICA HENRI/QMI Agency)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Bryan Colangelo has tried young and relatively NBAinexperienced coaches here in Toronto.

But now, he is done with that.

And apparently he's had enough of the offensive-minded one's too, although he did leave himself some wiggle room on that account.

So, as the Raptors president and general manager sets out on his first real quest outside the organization for a new head coach, he is looking for a guy with a proven NBA track record and one with defensive leanings.

"Most of the targets I will focus, or follow up, on will be candidates that have a great deal of experience," Colangelo said on a conference call staged within an hour of the decision not to pick up outgoing head coach Jay Triano's option being announced officially.

"I think that is something that is important," Colangelo said. "I think this group of young men that was obviously developing well under Jay need to perhaps see someone with perhaps somewhat of a pedigree or a resume that would indicate this is someone who has achieved success in that forum before."

Reading between the lines, anyone without a resume that includes years in the NBA and at least some success, can save themselves the trouble.

Add to that list of requirements a reputation as a guy who can get a team to defend and the prospects list which would fit Colangelo's criteria takes another beating.

"I think tenure, experience, success, rate of success, those will all be factored in," Colangelo said. "Clearly, someone that has somewhat of a defensive-minded perspective, someone who has had success putting solid defensive units out on the floor, has had success limiting points while still having some flow to the offence. That is obviously something that will be factored in, as well.

"I think, in finding a perfect blend, you would find someone that does have a good feel of the offensive side of the ball and has a free-flowing offence, but at the same time can really drill down on the defensive side of the ball which is something we need to dramatically improve on."

Colangelo, in essence, is looking for someone who views the game in a much different manner than he does. Colangelo is an offence-first kind of guy. Always has been. Even in describing the kind of defensive coach he wants, he couldn't help himself and brought the offence into it. It should make for some interesting debates behind closed doors between coach and GM if he does, in fact, hire the defensive guru he says he wants.

One guy who will definitely not be on the potential candidates list is Triano's assistant, P.J. Carlesimo.

Carlesimo's fate was likely sealed by the 2010-11 team showing the same defensive indifference Raptors squads had before he arrived.

"I have spoken to Lonnie Cooper (Carlesimo's agent) very briefly following the conclusion today, that Jay would not return as head coach and I did inform him that P.J. would not be considered a candidate at this time," Colangelo said.

"When P.J. was first recruited into the organization, I wanted everyone to be clear that I was not hiring him to be Jay's ultimate replacement," Colangelo said. "What we were looking to do was amp up Jay's staff, amp up defensive focus and effort and that was the sole purpose of bringing P.J. in. I think the world of P.J. as a coach. His 38 years of experience is certainly something that bodes well, but given the makeup of this team and the direction we want to go, I have concluded that P.J. will not be a candidate."

Colangelo said he has no timetable to have a replacement hired although he admitted, in a perfect world, he would have one by draft night on June 23 when the Raptors will have the fifth overall selection.

As for Triano, he remains on staff as special assistant to Colangelo for the time being. The GM, however, said he wouldn't rule out Triano stepping back into his old role as assistant coach depending on the new head coach's needs and desires.

So, there will be a new voice in Raptorland if or when the 2011-12 season ever tips off. David Stern and Billy Hunter will go a long way to determining that but, in the interim, Colangelo will have his hands full finding the voice he thinks can take this team to the next level.

With just a two-year contract of his own, Colangelo has a lot riding on this choice.


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