After presiding over the steady improvement of the Raptors for five years, Dwane Casey has been officially re-signed for three more seasons in Toronto. As was reported earlier this week, the deal is projected to be in the $18 million range. As the team's most winningest and longest tenured coach in franchise history, it feels more than fair.
As per the team's press release, General Manager Masai Ujiri had this to say:
"Dwane has done an excellent job leading our teams to success on the court and with helping us to develop a winning culture throughout our organization. Continuity is a part of establishing that culture. We are confident that with Dwane's leadership we will continue to grow our franchise."
The man himself also expressed his appreciation. Here's Casey in reflection:
"My family and I are very appreciative to ownership and Masai for the opportunity to continue to lead the growth of our program. We are energized with the idea of the potential we have with our core players and the development of our young players. Our goal has been and will be to build a program that is competing for a championship year in and year out."
These are exciting and hopeful words; and, if you've been following the team over the past five years, not exactly empty sentiments. Under Casey, the Raptors have gone from a 23-43 outfit to a 56-26 Eastern Conference powerhouse. Yes, it's true.
Now, obviously, roster improvements and the growth of the franchise's young players have contributed to the up-tick in team fortunes. But Casey's steady hand and insistence on building what he constantly refers to as a "program" is not something to be overlooked.
For a more detailed take on everything that Casey brings to the Raptors' table, have a look at John Gaudes' longer post on the subject.