Raptors hire Nick Nurse as new coach

The Toronto Raptors are hiring assistant Nick Nurse as their new head coach, according to a report from ESPN.

The Raptors narrowed their coaching search to Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, with Nurse as the frontrunner from the beginning because of his familiarity with the players and franchise.

Nurse was among the first candidates interviewed by team president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster after the Raptors fired Dwane Casey, who had been the head coach since 2011. Nurse joined the Raptors’ coaching staff in 2013 and has been in charge of running the offense.

Toronto had the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this year with a regular-season record of 59-23, but were swept by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second-round of the playoffs for the second consecutive postseason.