Dwane Casey is getting a do-over.
The Raptors announced Wednesday that Casey will be returning for the third and final year of his contract.
Casey’s story is the tale of two seasons.
He inherited a bare bones team in 2011-12 and delivered a creditable 23-43 season built on team defence. The Raptors went from the bottom of the league to ninth overall in points allowed in Casey’s first season with the club.
This season the team was never able to reconcile the need for more offence with the rigid defensive posture of the year before. The Raptors jacked scoring by 7.1 points a game in 2012-2013 but backslid defensively in allowing 8.6 points per game more than the previous season. Even while the club improved its winning percentage from .348 to .414 the Raptors, tabbed by some as ready to seriously pursue a playoff spot, were a disappointment.
There are acres of mitigating factors. Injuries limited Andrea Bargnani to just 35 games. Point guard Kyle Lowry struggled through injuries and a sub-par season and rookie Jonas Valanciunas missed 20 games with a hand injury.
In deciding to keep Casey, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri gambled that the club that went 17-16 after the acquisition of Rudy Gay was not just a freshened-up version of the team that tumbled to a 4-19 start.
Ujiri no doubt looked to the development of young players on the roster. Valanciunas took giant steps in the final days of the regular season and delivered 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over the last 10 games of the campaign.
Quincy Acy’s progress accelerated during the regular season and the rapid development of Ed Davis gave the Raptors the key young piece they needed to make the Gay deal.
Caseys’ future became a source of speculation after Bryan Colangelo was replaced by Ujiri as Raptors GM.
There was no word on the fate of Casey’s assistant coaches, Johnny Davis, Tom Sterner, Scott Roth, Micah Nori and Eric Hughes.