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Report: Raptors reach agreement in principle with Casey

The Canadian Press

6/21/2011 9:16:37 AM

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors have reached an agreement in principle to hire Dallas assistant Dwane Casey as their new head coach, according to a report on ESPN.com.

Citing anonymous sources, ESPN reported that Casey will be hired barring an unforeseen snag, and said he was already in New York on Monday observing the Raptors' private pre-draft workout of lottery hopeful Bismack Biyombo.

The Raptors have called a news conference for 1pm et on Tuesday to introduce their new head coach.

Casey, 54, would succeed Jay Triano, who was reassigned earlier this month. The Raptors are coming off a disappointing 22-60 campaign and have the fifth overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

The team has been stuck in a rut since making a first-round playoff exit in 2008. The Raptors lost all-star forward Chris Bosh to free agency last summer and this past season marked the third consecutive year without a post-season appearance.

Casey spent three seasons as an assistant with the Mavericks, who recently defeated the Miami Heat to win the NBA title for the first time in franchise history.

He also served as the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from June 2005 to January 2007, where he recorded a 43-59 record in his only stint as an NBA head coach.

After spending five years as a head coach in Japan, Casey began his NBA coaching career as an assistant for the Seattle Supersonics in 1994-'95. He spent 11 seasons with the team.

Casey played for the University of Kentucky and helped the Wildcats to the NCAA championship in 1978. He was named team captain his senior year and won the team's all-academic award.

The Raptors announced June 1 that the option year on Triano's contract as head coach would not be picked up although he will remain with the organization as a consultant. General manager Bryan Colangelo, who has spent five years at the helm of Canada's lone NBA team, agreed to a multi-year contract extension last month.

P.J. Carlesimo is the only assistant coach who remains under contract for next season.