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Report: Raptors to hire Trevor Gleeson from the NBL as new assistant coach

Toronto has seen the team’s coaching staff thin over the past year, so it comes as no surprise that head coach Nick Nurse is bringing in a new hire.

Perth Wildcats Media Opportunity Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

As reported this afternoon by Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors are set to add Trevor Gleeson to their coaching staff as a new assistant in support of Nick Nurse. Here’s the tweet from Stein confirming the news:

Born in Melbourne, Gleeson, at 53 years of age, joins the Raptors after spending most of the last 15 years in the National Basketball League (NBL) of Australia. In his time there, he coached the Townsville Crocodiles (during which he won his first of two Coach of the Year awards in 2011), the Melbourne Tigers, and since 2013, the Perth Wildcats. It was there that Gleeson won not one or two, but five NBL championships, along with the 2021 NBL Cup, and a second Coach of the Year award in 2021. It certainly sounds like he’s accomplished everything he can in Australia.

Gleeson joins a Raptors team that has seen its coaching ranks empty out over the past few months. First, there was the surprising midseason departure by lead assistant Chris Finch. Then the Raptors said arrivederci to veteran Sergio Scariolo, who returned to his native Italy to coach there. And finally, Toronto had to say goodbye to long-time assistant (and G League head coach) Jama Mahlalela, who decided to ply his trade with the Warriors. All of those departures have left Nurse with assistants Adrian Griffin, Jim Sann, and Jon Goodwillie as the only staffers on the bench. (It remains to be seen if Patrick Mutombo and Brittni Donaldson stay with the G League’s 905 after all of this staff turnover.)

Before shoring up the roster for 2021-22, it makes sense for the Raptors to figure out how best to shape the coaching staff for the coming year. And with Gleeson’s international pedigree, it stands to reason he’ll fit right in with Toronto.