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Report: Raptors to hire Phil Handy to round out coaching staff

Thanks to a tip from Danny Green’s podcast, we know now the Raptors are set to bring in former Cavs assistant Phil Handy to fill out their coaching staff.

This maybe isn’t the usual way to break a Raptors-related news story, but here goes. In the debut episode of Danny Green’s new podcast (yes, it’s a thing), the newest Raptor confirms the team’s newest coach, former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Phil Handy.

It’s been reported now by a few listeners of the pod, but for our purposes I’ll give credit to friend of the site “That Persian Guy”, who had it flying out there first. (We’ll have a longer recap of Green’s podcast at 11am.)

For the record: Handy’s NBA resume starts in 2011 with the Lakers as a player development coach. From there he headed to the Cavaliers in 2013, where he worked up the ranks to become the director of player development as well as an full-time assistant by the 2017-18 season. Along the way, Handy just so happened to be around when the Cavs won their astounding 2016 NBA title.

Far from an anonymous back-bencher though, there are a couple of good features on Handy — one here at the Undefeated, and another at Give Me Sport. The latter piece just happens to mention Handy’s British Basketball League (BBL) connection to, guess who, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse!

Almost 20 years past, in fact, to his solitary season in the British Basketball League when he was part of a transcendent Manchester Giants team that began the new millennium by reaching every major final and lifting the BBL Championship under the coaching of now-Toronto assistant Nick Nurse and with a MVP assist from Tony Dorsey.

What a journey.

It now appears as though Nurse’s coaching staff is full, with Phil joining Adrian Griffin, Nate Bjorkgren, and Sergio Scariolo to begin the next campaign. Here’s hoping the Raptors’ latest hire comes in... [long dramatic pause, shades on] ...handy.