Johnny Davis linked to Raptors
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
|Memphis assistant coach Johnny Davis (right), sitting next to Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins, is a close friend of Raptors new coach Dwane Casey and could join him in Toronto if the situation is right. (AFP)
History suggests the guy new Raptors head coach Dwane Casey has in mind to lead his staff is Johnny Davis, one of Casey’s closest friends who has spent close to four decades involved in the NBA.
It’s not known when Davis’ deal with the Memphis Grizzlies expires, but typically late June is the date most assistants under contract are either extended or told to look for another job.
Davis and Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins are former teammates in Portland, but Davis’ bond with Casey may lead him to Toronto.
When Casey was named head coach in Minnesota six years ago, he immediately turned to Davis a month after Davis was relieved of his head coaching duties in Orlando, where he replaced Doc Rivers.
Whether it was as a player, serving as a head coach first in Philadelphia or in various roles, Davis, should he rejoin Casey, will give Toronto’s newest head coach a much-needed ally and an experienced set of eyes.
When he was introduced earlier this week, Casey was given complete authority to hire whomever he saw fit, but he did what all incoming coaches do by saying he’d sit down with the current assistants.
Only one Raptors assistant, P.J. Carlesimo, is under contract for next season.
It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Carlesimo, whom many viewed as the head coach in waiting if Jay Triano were released.
Of course, Triano’s contract for next season was not extended and it’s not clear whether Carlesimo was even considered.
Ironically, Triano and Hollins are friends dating back to their time in Vancouver.