Jesse Mermuys was nothing less than a fantastic head coach with the NBA D-League Mississauga Raptors 905 last season. However, the Toronto Raptors are beginning to feel the heat as other NBA teams want what they have and are willing to poach what staff isn’t nailed to the floor in the Air Canada Center.
Luke Walton has to wait until the NBA Finals are over before he can join the Lakers, but he couldn’t land a better assistant coach for a young team, someone who knows the NBA D-League talent and is ready to help with this year’s NBA Draft than Mermuys.
Hearing Tucson native Jesse Mermuys will be joining LUKE WALTONS staff in LA…if my memory is correct he used to run Walton’s youth camps
— Dave Miller (@coachdavemiller) June 11, 2016
For those of u who have never heard of Jesse Mermuys, should be a good fit for Luke Walton & the Lakers https://t.co/DseFsfhmSz
— Dave Miller (@coachdavemiller) June 13, 2016
Mermuys was a popular assistant coach with the Raptors as well and the Raptors young players like Delon Wright, Norman Powell, Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo raved about how much he helped them to develop this past season.
His 905 players showed remarkable progress as well with two 905 players picked up by NBA teams for the balance of the season after he turned their games around and forward Ronald Roberts getting offers that he had to turn down after getting hurt. Greg Smith was signed by the Timberwolves and Axel Toupane went to the Nuggets. The Bucks have recently invited Roberts to their NBA Summer League team.
One of Mermuys biggest success stories was turning the podding out-of-shape 7’5 Sim Bhullar into a useful and effective center in the run-and-gun D-League. It’s an all to familiar story in the NBA. An imposing big man with the natural gifts to succeed that can’t seem to get it together at the next level. Bhullar might just make it to the NBA next season and he’ll have Mermuys to thank for it.
Outgoing, positive, easy to relate to and open, Mermuys is a perfect fit on a rebuilding Lakers team. The Raptors are going to miss him.