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Toronto Raptors guard Alvin Williams loses control and falls to the court as he tangles with Boston Celtics guard Tony Delk (rear) in the first quarter of their November 29, 2002 NBA game in Boston. REUTERS/ (JIM BOURG)
Toronto Raptors guard Alvin Williams loses control and falls to the court as he tangles with Boston Celtics guard Tony Delk (rear) in the first quarter of their November 29, 2002 NBA game in Boston. REUTERS/ (JIM BOURG)

Triano, Raptors still working on details Add to ...

When it comes to the big picture, the Toronto Raptors coaching situation is crystal clear: Jay Triano is the head coach, with a mandate to get the NBA team back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The details? They're still being worked out.

The two biggest names linked to the Raptors staff in recent days - Marc Iavaroni and Alvin Williams - are yet to be set in stone, according to team sources.

Iavaroni - the former Memphis Grizzlies head coach and veteran assistant with stints in Cleveland, Miami and Phoenix - is the foremost candidate for the lead assistant role alongside Triano, but a deal is not yet finalized.

Raptors president Bryan Colangelo shot down a report that surfaced earlier this week that Iavaroni's signing was being held up by the Grizzlies, who are seeking compensation in exchange for releasing their former coach from the final year of his contract.

"It's not true," Colangelo said. "It's absolutely false."

And while signs point to former Raptors guard Williams being added as an assistant coach with an emphasis on skills development, it has not been confirmed.

"It's not a done deal," said Triano, adding he hopes to meet with Williams next week. "We've talked on the phone and had initial talks, but nothing is done yet."

Williams - a former second-round pick acquired by Toronto as part of the trade that sent Damon Stoudemire to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1998 - played his best basketball in 2000-01, when the Raptors won 47 games and the franchise's only playoff round.

He was forced into retirement by knee problems after the 2006-07 season. The now 34-year-old was well-received by fans at the Air Canada Centre, when he was spotted sitting in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum's seats at half-court during a game this past season.

"He's a Raptor, first of all, and he's a veteran guy with a lot of experience and if he can translate that to help our guys get better, I'm all for it," Triano said.

The fate of the rest of the 2008-09 Raptors coaching staff - Alex English, Mike Evans and Gord Herbert - is still up in the air, but should be resolved soon.

"I'd really like to get the process completed by the end of this week or next week," Triano said.



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