Ime Udoka Considered Strong Candidate for Raptors Coaching Vacancy

Former Celtics coach Ime Udoka is already being considered a “serious candidate” for the Raptors coaching vacancy, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Ime Udoka

Raptors president Masai Uriji announced the team had parted ways with coach Nick Nurse on Friday.

Udoka and Ujiri have a long relationship, per Wojnarowski, making Udoka a natural candidate. He is said to be in the running for openings with the Rockets and Pistons as well.

Udoka led the Celtics to the Finals in his first year as a head coach, but was suspended by Boston before the start of this season for what was deemed an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer. The Celtics quietly parted ways with Udoka during the season, hiring interim coach Joe Mazzulla on a full-time basis.

Boston finished 51-31 in its lone season under Udoka, losing to the Warriors in the Finals in six games.

Meanwhile, Nurse and the Raptors went 41-41 this year, losing to the Bulls in the play-in tournament.

“The decision to make a change like this is never arrived at easily or taken lightly, especially when it comes to a person who has been an integral part of this franchise’s most historic accomplishments, and who has been a steady leader through some of our team’s most challenging times,” Ujiri said in a statement. “As we reflect on Nick’s many successes, we thank him and his family, and wish them the best in the future.

“This is an opportunity for us to reset, to refocus, to put into place the personnel and the players who will help us reach our goal of winning our next championship.”

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