As hot seat situations go, the blame game inevitably comes down to the question of whether the team is failing because of the quality of the roster itself or because of how the players on the roster are performing. Coaches are always easier to fire than players, so the latter scenario doesn't typically bode well for the play-calling types.
So when Raptors team president and general manager Bryan Colangelo went out of his way in an interview on the team's network during Sunday's 102-83 loss at the Clippers on Sunday to make it clear that a lack of talent wasn't the problem, then went on to make repeated references to a lack of "attention to detail" and "focus," it was fair to wonder what sort of message that sent about Casey's future. Yet two people with knowledge of the Raptors' thinking who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue told USA TODAY Sports that Casey is not in jeopardy at the moment, and the more relevant question is how long it will be until Colangelo makes a roster move that helps his own situation.
While Casey is under contract through next season, Colangelo's deal expires after this season and he's well aware that he needs to turn this tide. To that end, the Raptors are dangling seventh-year center and 2006 No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani as trade bait but don't have any takers thus far.
The Lakers have been reported as a possible destination for Bargnani as part of a possible deal involving forward Pau Gasol, but the big man is up for discussion in any and all trade talks so long as the potential pieces coming Toronto's are good enough that they could help right this ship. Point guard Jose Calderon has made it clear that he would like to be traded, and Colangelo continues to explore the possibilities there as well. A Raptors trade of some significance, more than likely, is on the horizon.
As for Colangelo's pointed comments – made both on television and in print – it appears his intent was more to rattle the cages of his players than it was to foreshadow a coaching change. Time will tell if it worked, though the Raptors have a prime chance to turn it around considering five of their next six games are at home (against Brooklyn, Dallas, Houston, Detroit and Orlando with a road game at Cleveland).
Like Colangelo, Casey's fate is expected to be determined at the end of the season. It wasn't too long ago, of course, that their bosses were thrilled with Casey's ability to establish a defense-first culture and take the winning percentage from .268 the season prior to Casey's arrival to .348 in his debut campaign.