Raptors reportedly favour Casey

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

It appears the Raptors want Dallas assistant Dwane Casey to become the eighth head coach in team history.

But he won't come easily after his defensive schemes helped lead the Mavericks to the title on Sunday.

The Detroit Pistons and wealthy new owner Tom Gores are also very interested in Casey and money is likely to be no object.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Casey is the frontrunner for the Toronto job after interviewing with the team earlier this week and could be hired as soon as next week.

That is, if he prefers this job over the Detroit opening.

Lawrence Frank is also in the running in both cities.

The NBA draft takes place next Thursday and the Raptors would prefer to get input from their new head coach before making their selection.

The team will get another look at Czech high flyer Jan Vesely on Sunday and might workout more players in Toronto on Monday.

The Raptors have interviewed both Casey and Frank, the Pistons have had Frank in but reportedly are still waiting on a meeting with Casey, 54.

Casey went 53-69 with the Minnesota Timberwolves but was fired in 2006-07 after leading the team to a 20-20 record. The Wolves have not been anywhere close to .500 since and Casey has been a finalist for a number of other jobs before and since, including the Toronto gig that went to Kevin OíNeill in 2003.

Besides helming a Mavericks defence that helped slow down stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant in the playoffs this season, Casey also had a very successful run as Nate McMillanís associate head coach in Seattle.

With Casey as his main man on the bench, McMillanís Supersonics went 212-173.

Frank, Bostonís assistant in charge of the defence went 225-241 as head coach of the New Jersey Nets.

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


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