Nick Nurse to be Raptors' next coach

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Assistant Nick Nurse will be promoted to take over as Toronto's new head coach, ESPN reported Wednesday (AEST), saying contract details were still being finalized.

Nurse, a long-time assistant under Casey, was one of the first people interviewed by president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster and was the leading candidate throughout much of the hiring process. Casey, who had led the Raptors to three consecutive 50-win seasons, was named coach of the Detroit Pistons on Monday. Wojnarowski reports that Nurse accepted the job on Tuesday morning.

Toronto was rumored to desire former Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, but Bud signed on to coach Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

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The native of Carroll, Iowa, 50, has always been regarded as an assistant in the National Basketball Association most deserving of a top job.

Nurse, who is from Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa, also coached in the D-League, winning championships in 2011 with the Iowa Energy and in 2013 with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Nurse emphasized more man and ball movement as well as outside shooting, helping the team go from last in assists the year before to sixth in 2017-18.

Nurse coached in Europe for 11 years starting in 1996.

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"I leave here with my head high", he told TSN via text message in May.

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