The Toronto Raptors are retaining their long-time head coach.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports the Raptors have agreed to a three-year contract extension with head coach Dwane Casey worth $18 million.
Casey has coached the Raptors since 2011-12 and has increased the team’s win total in each of his five years with the club. The Raptors topped out at 56 wins this season under Casey’s guidance, finishing first in the Atlantic Division. Toronto made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history where they were eventually beaten in six games by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Casey is known as a defensive specialist, but he’s turned the Raptors into an excellent two-way team. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry both blossomed into All-Star’s during his tenure. Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo and Norm Powell also have shown promising development. The main criticism of his coaching was sticking to rotations for too long, but he adapted well in the playoffs.
The extension is quite the change of events as reports suggested Casey could be axed if the Raptors fell to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, which would have been Toronto’s third-straight first round exit. Fortunately for Casey, his team found another gear and made it much further than anyone expected.
General manager Masai Ujiri made locking up Casey his top offseason priority and worked quickly to get it done. Considering the massive turnover of coaches around the NBA, signing up Casey for three more seasons continues the stable approach of the Raptors front office. Casey deserves it. He’s led the Raptors from mediocrity into Eastern Conference powerhouse. Now he gets to see how much further they can go.