After two consecutive years of G-League success, 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse has joined the Memphis Grizzlies coaching staff as per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Toronto G League coach Jerry Stackhouse has agreed to a deal to join the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant under JB Bickerstaff. Story on ESPN: https://t.co/NVk8AtHB0K
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2018
After joining the Toronto Raptors development staff in 2015, Stackhouse quickly showed his value resulting in a quick promotion to head coach of the fledgling Raptors 905 after one unsuccessful year under Jesse Mermuys.
Stack’s influence was felt greatly throughout his two seasons with the 905. Leading two vastly different rosters to consecutive finals and helping to generate call-ups for many 905ers: Axel Toupane, Edy Tavares, and Jarrod Uthoff to name a few. Most impressively, Stack seemed to manage incredibly well with a fluid rotation. By regularly providing opportunity for players on the fringe of the rotation by changing up lineups throughout the season, what would seem to be a mark of inconsistency seemed to inspire all members of the 905 team to strive for success and produce knowing an opportunity would be available.
Regardless of popular opinion of the NBA G-League and 905, this is a massive blow to the Toronto Raptors organization. At one time a candidate for the vacant head coaching position with the Raptors, Toronto now lacks a head coach for both its main club and developmental team heading into the 2018 NBA Draft.
It would be foolish to suggest that Stackhouse’s influence as a former 3rd overall pick and two-time all-star didn’t affect player and league opinion of the 905 program. He’s a man that could provide valuable insight regarding the NBA world to players on the fringe of their dream. A former player like Stackhouse is the type of person to attract potential prospects like Fred Vanvleet to the 905 program while in NBA-limbo.
Beginning the 2018 off-season with one head coaching problem seemed to be enough for the Raptors. It is now compounded upon by the loss of Jerry Stackhouse and leaves the Raptors with a difficult choice regarding who will lead their developmental program for the future.