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Chicago Sky head coach James Wade accepts assistant coach role with Toronto Raptors

The Sky head coach is making the jump from the WNBA to NBA and joining Darko Rajaković’s staff in Toronto

Los Angeles Sparks defeated the Chicago Sky 77-62 during a WNBA basketball game at in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Chicago Sky head coach and general manager James Wade has stepped down from both of his roles with the organization to accept an assistant coaching position with the Toronto Raptors. Assistant coach Emre Vatansever will take over as the interim head coach for the Sky for the remainder of the WNBA season. He makes the jump after a successful stint in Chicago where he led the franchise to its first WNBA Championship in 2021.

Wade got his start in coaching in 2012, spending multiple seasons as an assistant for the now defunct San Antonio Stars in the WNBA. Bouncing between the ‘W’ and Europe for the next handful of years, he landed the Sky job in 2019. Taking the team from a 13-21 record the year prior to a 20-14 record upon his arrival, he was named the WNBA Coach of the Year in his first season. Along with that honor and the WNBA Championship in 2021, he would also win WNBA Executive of the Year in 2022.

Wade now joins the staff of new Raptors head coach Darko Rajaković. The team appears to be undergoing a rebuild and he will be part of it.