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Report: Raptors interview Sarunas Jasikevicius for head-coaching job

Serbia Basketball Euroleague Final Four

Zalgiris head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius gestures during the Final Four Euroleague semifinal basketball match against Fenerbahce in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, May 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)


Remember Sarunas Jasikevicius?

The Lithuanian had some big games against Team USA in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 2000, then played for the Pacers and Warriors for a couple years.

He’s now coaching Zalgiris in Lithuania – and might return to the NBA.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri interviewed young EuroLeague coaching star Sarunas Jasikevicius for the franchise’s head-coaching job, league sources told ESPN.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN:

Jasikevicius would be a shocking hire, especially for a team as good as Toronto. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are in their primes and need a coach ready to win now.

That might be Jasikevicius, but there’s only limited evidence. Zalgiris has certainly overachieved under his guidance, but it has been just 2.5 seasons. My bet is the Raptors are mostly gathering information and making inroads in case they might want to hire the 42-year-old in the future.

Nick Nurse has long been considered the favorite now. Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka are also in the mix.

Clearly, though, Toronto isn’t rushing through this search.