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Raptors 905 head coach Jesse Mermuys plans to leave team for job with Luke Walton's Lakers

Godspeed to the only head coach the young 905 have ever known.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

As reported by Dave Miller, and confirmed by Chris Reichert of Upside Motor, the head coach of the Raptors 905, Jesse Mermuys, is heading west to join Luke Walton's Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff as an assistant. The terms of any deal have not be discussed publicly (and, as you can imagine, Walton is still a bit busy with his current job in Oakland).

For the 905, this is an unfortunate turn of events. Mermuys originally joined the Raptors as an assistant for the 2013-14 season. While others may have seen a move to the D-League as a "demotion," Mermuys proved himself to be a solid coach, a good developer of talent (hello Norman Powell!), and a positive part of the potent new culture surrounding the Raptors.

On a positive note, this is a good kind of problem for the Raptors to have. It means that Toronto, under GM Masai Ujiri, are finding talented people not just on the court but in the front office to help run the team. It says something when, for example, Nick Nurse is talked about as a possible future head coach in the NBA. And it means something when one of the prominent new head coaches in the league (in Walton), going to one of the highest profile gigs (with the Lakers), looks to a D-League coach in Mississauga to be his right hand man. Things are going right.

The Raptors 905 will have their work cut out for them now to find a suitable replacement. On the staff are David Gale, Tim Lewis and Nathaniel Mitchell, who were Mermuys' assistants last year. There's also Jama Mahlalela, who occupies an assistant coach role with the Raptors similar to Mermuys' own a year ago (in that he's a notch below the more experienced names on the bench). Mahlalela has worked his way up the ranks in the franchise and may have earned his shot as a head coach in the D-League. Time will tell.

In any case, it seems likely from a team culture prospective that the Raptors will promote from within. But what do you guys think?

Also, read the more fulsome piece here from Blake Murphy, one of the few people on Earth actually close to the 905 situation on the day-to-day. He has more details regarding Mermuys' time with the team (and actually had the story first).