Frank or Casey next Raptors coach

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo would not comment Thursday on a report he has narrowed the team's coaching search down to Boston's Lawrence Frank and Dwane Casey of the Mavericks but that has been the most likely scenario all along.

With more proven candidates like Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman and Jerry Sloan massive longshots from the start, Frank and Casey always made the most sense.

Defensive-minded, with track records and league-wide respect, either would make a solid choice.

Casey, 54, has -- along with the arrival of Tyson Chandler and others -- helped turn around Dallas' defence. He coached Minnesota to a 53-69 record as its head coach and also spent a number of seasons as Nate McMillan's associate head coach in Seattle.

Seattle went an excellent 212-173 with Casey as its associate coach.

Frank, 41, has studied under coaches like Doc Rivers, Byron Scott, Bob Knight and former Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill.

Frank started his coaching career with New Jersey with an NBA record 13 wins in a row and went 225-241 there, leading the team to three playoff appearances, including a series victory over the Raptors in which he out-coached Sam Mitchell and the Raptors, who had homecourt advantage.

It is expected that either would benefit from having an offensive specialist as lead assistant.

Where that leaves the defensive-minded P.J. Carlesimo, former head coach Jay Triano's right-hand man last season and the only Raptors assistant with a contract for 2010-11 is unclear.

Casey is not expected to interview for a head job until after the finals, but with both he and Frank in hot demand -- Yahoo! Sports reported on Thursday that Frank is one of three frontrunners for the Detroit Pistons job -- Colangelo will likely try to move fast to make his hire.

That said, a source close to the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment board told the Sun that opinion is split at the board level on whether a new coach needs to be in place before the NBA's collective bargaining agreement expires on July 1st.

That same source said that contrary to some reports, Colangelo's decision to replace Triano not long after giving him an endorsement was not a result of any meddling.

"It was Bryan's decision and only his, without pressure from above," said the source.


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