Raptors officially unveil Darko Rajakovic as next head coach

The Toronto Raptors officially unveiled their new head coach on Tuesday.

The Toronto Raptors officially named Nick Nurse's replacement on Tuesday, unveiling former Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic as the team's next head coach.

Rajakovic becomes the 10th head coach in Raptors franchise history after spending the past three campaigns as a lead assistant with Memphis. Terms of the deal were not made public, per team policy.

"To join and to lead an elite organization like the Raptors is what I have been working for my entire professional life," Rajakovic said on Tuesday.

"This is an amazing opportunity, to join a franchise with a supportive ownership group, fantastic front office and fanbase, and elite players. I’m looking forward to the journey ahead as we work together to achieve our goals: development, playoffs, championships."

It's Darko Rajakovic time for the Toronto Raptors. (Getty)
It's Darko Rajakovic time for the Toronto Raptors. (Getty)

Prior to his time with the Grizzlies, the Serbia native spent one season as an assistant with the Phoenix Suns in 2019-20 after seven campaigns in various roles with the Oklahoma City Thunder organization, including as an assistant coach from 2014-19. The Thunder made five playoff appearances including a trip to the 2016 Western Conference Finals during Rajakovic's time on the OKC coaching staff.

Raptors vice chairman and president Masai Ujiri is excited to have Rajakovic in the mix.

"We’re entering a new era – one where we are embracing new ideas, a new attitude, and now a new head coach – but our goals remain the same. A championship. Winning," Ujiri said Tuesday.

"Darko shares those goals, and our belief in culture, professionalism, and hard work. His commitment to both learning and teaching our game is elite, and we are all very excited to welcome him to the Raptors family."

The Raptors are coming off a tough 2022-23 campaign where the team missed the playoffs for the second time in three years after qualifying for seven consecutive seasons (including a championship in 2019) prior.

Toronto has the No. 13 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.