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Report: Raptors hiring Grizzlies assistant Rajakovic as head coach

Joe Murphy / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Toronto Raptors are finalizing a deal to hire Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic as their new head coach, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

The 44-year-old Serbian is set to replace Nick Nurse, who the Raptors let go in April and subsequently became the Philadelphia 76ers' head coach.

Toronto hiring Rajakovic means the league now has no more vacant head coaching jobs.

This will be Rajakovic's first lead gig in the NBA. He was an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns prior to his three-season stint in Memphis. Rajakovic also led the then-D League's Tulsa 66ers for two campaigns.

Rajakovic has earned a reputation as a strong player developer, helping a handful of young players grow early in their careers under his tutelage.

He's also set to become just the second NBA head coach born and raised outside of North America, after countryman Igor Kokoskov spent one season at the helm of the Suns in 2018-19.

The Raptors are entering a critical offseason for their future, with a lottery pick, multiple key free agents, and potential trade options on the table.

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