Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri announced Tuesday the club and head coach Dwane Casey have agreed in principle on a new three-year contract through the 2016-17 season. Casey guided the Raptors to a team-record 48 victories and an Atlantic Division championship in 2013-14.
“From day one last summer Dwane has done an excellent job both on-and-off the court,” said Ujiri. “There’s been growth from each player on the roster and the team’s identity of toughness and a desire to always compete has clearly been established.
“We’re very excited to continue to grow and develop this team with Dwane as our head coach.”
Casey incorporated four new players into the roster following an early December trade and from that point forward led the Raptors to the best mark in the Eastern Conference at 41-22. He directed the club to eight victories in the final 11 games in December and was rewarded with NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honours. His 2013-14 squad finished in the Top 10 in the NBA in defensive field goal percentage (.450) and points allowed (98.0), and also posted a franchise-best 22 road wins.
“I thank Tim (Leiweke) and Masai for providing me and my staff the platform this season to coach and now to continue the process of developing this young team,” said Casey. “We have taken some big steps toward our goal of installing a culture and a defensive mindset.
“At the same time we realize the challenge ahead in order to complete our quest to build a championship program for the best fans in the NBA!”
In his third season at the helm of the Raptors, Casey continued to oversee the development of a young nucleus. Toronto was the only team this past season with two second-year starters to reach the postseason. Point guard Kyle Lowry established career highs in scoring (17.9) and assists (7.4), guard DeMar DeRozan earned his first All-Star selection, sophomore forward Terrence Ross moved into a starting role in December and increased his scoring average by 5.7 points and second-year centre Jonas Valanciunas led the team in double-doubles (25).
Casey was named head coach of the Raptors on June 21, 2011, just nine days after he helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. He earned his 100th career victory as head coach of the Raptors on April 2 with a 107-103 win versus Houston.
Casey has served as a head coach, associate head coach and assistant coach during his 19 seasons in the NBA.