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Report: Raptors to interview Denver assistant coach David Adelman

The Raptors are still without a head coach, but the news of candidates getting interviewed is trickling in, and we see a pattern here.

We momentarily interrupt your Raptor-less playoff programming with a Raptors coaching search update. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Toronto Raptors are interviewing Denver Nuggets lead assistant coach David Adelman this upcoming week.

If the last name sounds familiar, David Adelman is the son of Rick Adelman, a Hall of Fame coach best known as the architect of “The Greatest Show on Court” era of the Sacramento Kings.

According to his Wikipedia, Adelman jumped into coaching immediately. First, joining as a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater Jesuit High School, then moved on as the head coach at Lincoln High School and won three city championships before joining his father as a player development coach in Minnesota in 2011.

Adelman coached the Timberwolves’ Summer League teams from 2012-2014, coaching the likes of Wesley Johnson, Shabazz Muhammed, Zach Lavine, Gorgui Dieng, and Raptors legend Lorenzo Brown.

Adelman moved to the bench beginning of the 2013 season, helping his father navigate basketball analytics. Coincidentally, his father’s swan song before calling it a career. Flip Saunders retained Adelman for a couple of years until he joined Frank Vogel’s coaching staff with the Orlando Magic for a season.

Michael Malone added Adelman to his staff in Denver the following season, and Adelman’s got his fingerprints on their offense and has moved up as the Nuggets’ lead assistant. He had a chance to flex his coaching chops when Malone entered the Health & Safety protocols a few months ago, earning an unofficial 2-0 coaching record.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the Raptors’ interest in Adelman is his offensive acumen. The Raptors’ offence hasn’t been pretty since Fred Vanvleet opened up the floor for everybody in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks several years ago. Adelman is in charge of the Nuggets’ offense, and one of the things he’s done is help them tweak the offence to the strengths of their players.

If hired, Adelman’s got a wealth of playbook as the Nuggets’ offensive coordinator, including the famed corner offense his father devised that’s being used by Denver and New Orleans, among other teams. The Raptors used to run this offense a lot, but it hasn’t been used as often with the departure of Marc Gasol.

Could we finally see the Raptors running the corner offence through Scottie Barnes ?

Just look at this vintage Houston Rockets corner offense highlights featuring GROAT Kyle Lowry:

Or how the Golden State Warriors use it via Draymond Green:

Adelman might be one of the well-rounded up-and-coming assistant coaches out there, spending time with player development, player relationships, scouting, and helping spin and innovate the Nuggets’ offence. While the last name may be why Adelman got his opportunities initially, the NBA is such a tough environment that if you’re not good, you’ll be exposed and be out of the league immediately.

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