The Toronto Raptors have reportedly found their next head coach in Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic. Rajakovic will replace Nick Nurse, who guided the Raptors from 2018-2023, bringing the franchise its only championship in 2019.
Rajakovic has served as an assistant coach since 2014. He spent five seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, a single year with the Phoenix Suns in 2019-20, and the last three with the Grizzlies. Rajakovic has never held an NBA head coaching position.
Rajakovic hails from Serbia. He started his career coaching in his native land, simultaneously working as a scout and Summer League coach for the San Antonio Spurs. Rajakovic served as a head coach in the Spanish EBA League between 2009-2012 and coached the Tulsa 66’ers of the NBA Development League from 2012-2014.
The Raptors are in transition, deciding between preserving their former championship roster and rebuilding into a youth movement. Veterans Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Fre VanVleet are scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency next summer, while star forward Scottie Barnes becomes a restricted free agent.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted the news of the hire.