Nick Nurse has been fired after five seasons as Toronto Raptors coach, the team announced Friday.
Former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is expected to be a serious candidate to replace Nurse, sources said.
The move comes after Raptors president Masai Ujiri and Nurse met several times since their season ended to discuss how they might move forward together. Nurse had one year and more than $8 million left on his contract, sources said.
He will become a prominent candidate in the Houston Rockets’ coaching search, sources said.
Nurse led the Raptors to the 2018-19 NBA title in his first season and was the 2020 NBA Coach of the Year but never took Toronto to the same heights again. Toronto finished 41-41 this season before losing to the Chicago Bulls in the 9-10 game of the play-in tournament.
Nurse was 227-163 with the Raptors, leading them to three playoff appearances. He served as a Raptors assistant for five seasons before being promoted in June 2018.
Udoka was suspended by the Celtics before the start of the 2022-23 season for multiple violations of team rules. He was replaced by Joe Mazzulla, who was given the permanent coaching position in February.