On the conclusion of the Los Angeles Lakers’ disappointing 2021-22 marketing campaign, the entrance workplace elected to half methods with head coach Frank Vogel, who helped lead the crew to the NBA championship in 2020.
The Lakers’ head teaching emptiness is a polarizing matter, as the chance to work for one of many NBA’s most historic franchises will get a bit offset by an growing old roster with little to no wiggle room in cap house totally free company and trades. Add that to the truth that they don’t have any draft picks this season and the choices to enhance the roster are restricted at greatest apart from the famous person tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis getting wholesome for subsequent season.
Even with that being mentioned, these factors will not cease the Lakers from making an attempt to pursue top-tier candidates to fill the opening, and one title that popped up within the rumor mill shortly after Vogel’s firing was Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.
In keeping with The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Nurse was “among the many franchise’s prime targets for the place,” however in his exit interview for the 2021-22 season on Monday, the Raptors head coach shot down any probability of leaving Toronto for Los Angeles.
“I do not know the place that stuff comes from and I am centered on teaching this crew,” Nurse instructed the media.
Nick Nurse on stories of the Lakers’ curiosity in him: “I do not know the place that stuff comes from and I am centered on teaching this crew.”
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) Could 2, 2022
Nurse went on to reward what he has with the Raptors, talking on why he believes they need to be a vacation spot totally free brokers sooner or later.
“Jeez, I feel we acquired loads to supply right here,” Nurse said. “We have got a successful crew, nice followers, first-class group. I might wish to play right here.”
He additionally famous his relationship with crew president Masai Ujiri as another excuse issues are working so nicely in Toronto.
“Masai and I’ve an excellent relationship, largely as a result of we wish to win championships,” Nurse mentioned. “… That goes a good distance in synergy. He has conversations with me about teaching and I’ve conversations with him concerning the roster.”
Nurse is coming off of his fourth season as head coach of the Raptors, main the crew to its third playoff look below his reign. Even after falling within the first spherical, this season might solely be seen as an overachievement for a crew that many didn’t have pegged as a playoff roster in the beginning of the 12 months.
With the consistency of getting essentially the most out of his groups, it should not come as a shock that Nurse is a goal for the Lakers. On prime of being among the best coaches within the NBA since taking on the Raptors in 2018-19, Nurse has the pedigree the Lakers are trying to find in Vogel’s successor as a one-time Coach of the Yr and NBA champion.
It is also price noting that Nurse is represented by Klutch Sports activities Group — the identical administration crew that has the Lakers’ two largest stars, James and Davis, on their roster.
Even when Los Angeles did attempt to pry Nurse from Toronto, it would not be straightforward. The Raptors must give Los Angeles permission to interview Nurse and he would doubtless should be acquired by commerce.
As talked about on the prime, the Lakers do not have many priceless belongings accessible for commerce and after coming off of essentially the most disappointing seasons within the NBA this 12 months, it is exhausting to imagine Nurse would elect to go away his present scenario in Toronto.
Nurse signed a multi-year contract extension with the Raptors in 2020 and nonetheless has two extra years left on his deal. It is also price noting that Nurse simply signed a contract extension this previous August to stay head coach of Canada Males’s Basketball’s Nationwide Group by way of 2024.