(TORONTO) — It was a big news day in Toronto sports on Friday, as both the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs announced major changes to their teams.
Toronto Raptors team President Masai Ujiri announced that head coach Dwane Casey had been relieved of his duties.
“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 improve in order to get to the next level,” Ujiri said. “We celebrate everything Dwane has done for the organization, we thank him, and we wish him 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.”
Casey, who was named coach of the year this season, had one year and $6.5 million left on his contract. The Raports improved in six of the seven seasons under Casey, including a franchise best 59 wins this year.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, that success did not carry over into the playoffs. As the top seed in the East, they were swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As for the Maple Leafs, they named 32-year-old Kyle Dubas as the general manager of the team. Dubas served as the assistant GM since 2014, and was widely believed to be next in line to replace former general manager Lou Lamoriello. Lamoriello moved into an advisory role with the team after serving three seasons as GM after the Maple Leafs season came to a close.
The Maple Leafs came in third in the Atlantic Division this season, but fell to the rival Boston Bruins in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in seven games.
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