Dwane Casey has been fired as head coach of the Toronto Raptors just days after he was selected as the NBA Coaches Association's coach of the Year, the team announced.
"After careful consideration, I have decided this is a very difficult but necessary step the franchise must take. As a team, we are constantly trying to grow and imrpve in order to get to the next level," team president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. "We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish nothing but the best in future. He was instrumental in creating the identity and culture of who we are as a team, and we are so proud of that."
The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Casey has served as the Raptors head coach since 2011. He has a 320–238 record in those seven seasons and led the team to five straight playoff appearances.
Casey is coming off a season in which he led the Raptors to a franchise-record 59 wins and the best record in the Eastern Conference. Toronto was ranked in the top five for offensive and defensive efficiency.
The Raptors were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was the third straight season in which they lost to the Cavaliers in the playoffs.
Casey had one year remaining on his contract.
Earlier in the week, Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported that before the Cavaliers' sweep, executives around the NBA expected Casey to be fired at the end of the year. Assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse were listed as possible candidates to take over. Nurse is considered the favorite among the three. Wojnarowski reports that former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer may also be considered for the Raptors' vacancy.