Before the madness of the NBA’s free agency period gets going this evening, a report has emerged today from the Toronto Star’s Doug Smith regarding yet another Raptors coaching vacancy — and the man brought in to fill it: Nathaniel Mitchell.
Here’s the report:
Toronto native Nate Mitchell returning as Raptors assistant coach after time in Charlotte, an NBA source says. Mitchell, who worked for Raptors905, too, also a veteran of the Canadian national team scene— Doug Smith: Raptors (@SmithRaps) August 2, 2021
From 2018 to 2021, Mitchell had been with the Charlotte Hornets as an assistant coach. Prior to that, though, he was actually with the Raptors 905 as an assistant, hired back in 2015-16 for the club’s inaugural run. And what’s more, he’s been an assistant coach for the Canadian Men’s National Team since 2016 — so Nate already has a connection to head coach Nick Nurse.
As we head towards the 2021-22 season, the Raptors coaching staff now looks to have rounded back into form. Nurse is obviously still in charge, with Adrian Griffin and presumably Trevor Gleeson as his lead assistants. Then there’s the recently hired Earl Watson, who will be joining long-time assistants Jim Sann and Jon Goodwillie on Toronto’s bench.
While it remains to be seen how all these parts, new and old, will fit together under Nurse, it looks like the Raptors have restored their coaching staff to its full complement — and not a moment too soon. The team will be out in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League starting on August 8.