AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Raptors Rumors: Kings' Jordi Fernández 'A Name to Watch' in Toronto's HC Search

Timothy Rapp

The most high-profile head-coaching vacancies remaining in the NBA are in Phoenix and Philadelphia, though the Toronto Raptors remains an intriguing destination to monitor as well.

And according to NBA reporter Marc Stein, "A name to watch in Toronto's slower-moving-than-most coaching search, says one league source, is Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernández."

Fernández, 40, spent six seasons as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets before joining the Kings this past campaign. He also spent time with the Cleveland Cavaliers as a player development coach between 2009-13.

If the Raptors want Fernández they may have competition, however, as he is one of five finalists for the Phoenix Suns job, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, joining former Toronto head coach Nick Nurse, veteran coaches Doc Rivers and Frank Vogel and Suns assistant Kevin Young.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in late April, meanwhile, that Toronto's coaching search was "expected to be broad in scope and include a robust initial wave of candidates among NBA assistants, ex-NBA head coaches and NCAA and WNBA coaches."

Per Woj, the team received permission to interview a wide array of assistants, including Golden State's Kenny Atkinson, Milwaukee's Charles Lee, Phoenix's Young, San Antonio's Mitch Johnson, Memphis' Darko Rajakovic, Miami's Chris Quinn and Fernández.

Additionally, they received permission to interview Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon, while former Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin has since been hired by the Bucks, reportedly at the behest of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

As for the Raptors, the team has a mix of solid veterans (Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby) and intriguing young talents (Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa). Fred VanVleet is also likely to become a free agent.

It remains to be seen whether the team will look to rebuild around a young core after firing Nurse this offseason, or will attempt to retool with a blend of veterans and younger options after missing the postseason this past year.


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