With Mike Budenholzer now reportedly on his way to the Milwaukee Bucks, we take a look at some of the best options for the Toronto Raptors.
Here are some possibilities for Toronto:
Williams was a Raptor for eight years, and has bounced around as a coach, with Toronto, Philadelphia and Boston. He is probably too green to take over the team, but his connection with the organization is strong.
Smith has expressed some interest in moving from the television set to the sidelines, and a team like the Raptors might be good for a guy who is new at this. Smith has a good gig with TNT, and would need the right job to be lured away from TV. He was a candidate for the job in Houston - where he spent the bulk of his NBA career - in 2016, and going to a ready-made winning situation like Toronto might have some appeal for him.
Rex Kalamian/Nick Nurse
There's a chance that the Raptors could keep things simple and go with a guy already on staff. Kalamian and Nurse are two young Raptors assistants who have been getting consideration for head-coaching jobs. Kalamian has developed a knack for good relationships with star players - he had a bond with Russell Westbrook during his time in Oklahoma City and has the same with DeMar DeRozan. Nurse is considered an offensive guru and was instrumental in instituting changes to the Toronto attack. It's likely, though, that Toronto will bring in a new voice altogether.
Stackhouse has been coaching Toronto's G League team for two years. He has a reputation for old-school discipline, which might not fit well with an established veteran team. He also runs a grinding style of offence that might not suit the Toronto offence.
Like Stackhouse, Williams has a reputation for coaching a slower, more methodical style in an era of quickened pace and 3-point shots that come in a flurry - Williams' teams in New Orleans were consistently in the Bottom 5 in pace, and in the bottom half of the league in 3-pointers. He'd have to make adjustments to modernize a bit, but Williams has some credibility as a former head coach.
Blatt is eager to get back into the NBA, and his year-and-a-half with the Cavaliers - 83-40, 14-6 in the playoffs and a trip to the Finals - shows he is worthy of another chance. He's a very good Xs and Os coach, and the book on him is that he'd be better with a young team in need of development. That's not the Raptors, obviously, but he could get consideration anyway.