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Dwane Casey hired as head coach of the Pistons

The long-time coach of the Raptors has landed, and it’s just south of the Ontario border.

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors - Game One Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The bench boss of the Toronto Raptors for the last seven seasons has found a new landing spot. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Dwane Casey has been hired by the Detroit Pistons to be their next head coach, signing a five-year commitment.

This will be Casey’s third team as an NBA coach. He previously coached two seasons for the Minnesota Timberwolves and was 320-238 in seven seasons as coach of the Raptors, winning Eastern Conference Coach of the Month five times and leading the team to four playoff series wins.

Casey was a great bet for a largely young Pistons team, especially when you consider the other candidates who were rumoured for the job — Kenny Smith, Juwan Howard, Jason Kidd to name a few. Similar to what he did when joining Toronto way back in 2011, Casey will have a roster that works to his coaching strengths — young, malleable players who need to learn by working. While Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are established players, it’ll be interesting to see what Casey’s presence can do for guys like Stanley Johnson, James Ennis, or even Luke Kennard.

This hire, of course, leaves the Toronto Raptors as the only team with a vacant head coaching position in the NBA. The list of candidates has reportedly been cut to twoSpurs assistant Ettore Messina and Raptors assistant Nick Nurse.

One of the questions raised by Casey’s hiring is who will remain to be the assistant for whoever the Raptors hire. It’s likely that Rex Kalamian, who is rumoured not to be in the running for the Raptors top job, will go with Casey to Detroit. Jama Mahlalela’s status is up in the air as well.

In the end, it looks like the result will be similar to what Masai Ujiri was looking for — a fresh batch of voices in the Raptors locker room, ready to take a different direction with an established roster. Expect news on who will lead those voices very soon.