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Nick Nurse: Raptors hiring assistant as head coach

June 12 (UPI) — The Toronto Raptors are hiring assistant coach Nick Nurse as their new head coach.

League sources told ESPN that both sides are working through details of a contract. The Toronto Star confirmed the report on Tuesday afternoon.

Nurse, 50, steps in for presumptive NBA Coach of the Year Dwane Casey. The longtime Raptors coach was named Coach of the Year by his coaching peers this season, leading the team to a franchise-record 59 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Raptors fired Casey on May 11. He had a 320-238 record in seven seasons with the franchise. The Detroit Pistons hired Casey on Monday to take over for Stan Van Gundy.

Nurse joined the Raptors in 2013, coaching under Casey. He also coached in Europe, where he was named Coach of the Year in the British Basketball League. Nurse was also named Coach of the Year during his coaching tenure in the G League. He was tasked with coaching up the Raptors’ offense, helping the team lead the Eastern Conference in points per game and field goals made.

Sources told TSN that Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina were the leading candidates for the job.

Nurse was in Toronto on Thursday for a second interview with the Raptors front office.

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