The Toronto Raptors have added assistant coaches Bill Bayno and Jesse Mermuys to Dwane Casey’s staff for the upcoming NBA season.
Bayno has over 20 years of coaching experience at the NBA, college and international levels.
He spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach in Minnesota and previously spent five years as an assistant in Portland.
“One profile we were going for is player development,” Casey said. “Bill Bayno is one of the best in the league as far as player development. I’ve known Bill for a long time back when he was coaching in college and also when he was coaching with my good friend Nate McMillan in Portland. He did an excellent job of developing guys.”
Mermuys was a member of Kevin McHale’s staff in Houston last season, serving as assistant coach and director of player development. He worked with the Denver Nuggets for four years, first as video co-ordinator in 2008-09 then was promoted to advance scout where he was responsible for scouting upcoming opponents throughout the league. He was promoted to assistant coach and advance scout for the 2011-12 campaign.
“Jesse did a good job not only in Denver, but also with James Harden in Houston,” Casey said. “He has a good relationship with players.”
The team also promoted Jama Mahlalela to assistant coach following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front-office as director of player development.
Mahlalela was a four-year starter at the University of British Columbia and an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Toronto.
“Jama is one of the best player relations and player development guys that we have,” Casey said. “I’ve seen the talent he has as far as teaching on the court and working with guys.”
Casey said the team is looking to make more additions to the coaching staff.
Casey enters his third season as Raptors head coach. He has a 57-91 record over two seasons in Toronto.
The Raptors also announced that they will conduct some of their training camp in Halifax for the second straight year.
Casey said the team will benefit from being in “a hotel setting, kind of away from friends and family.”
“Last year Halifax really got us off to a good start in the exhibition season,” Casey said. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for us this year to have that time together.”
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