Dwane Casey understands the tightrope walk that has become his career.

And the awkward position he finds himself in as coach of the Toronto Raptors.

The CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Tim Leiweke, wants the Raptors to lose. A lot. Like every game they play.

The general manager, Masai Ujiri, has been quiet about his plans. But they include getting better, which means trading away expensive talented players, which means getting worse first.

And then there is Casey, the head coach on the last year of his contract, with none of his future guaranteed, paid to win and develop, two areas that are often mutually exclusive. One of which benefits the future of the Raptors.

By definition, his job, every coach’s job, is to win. And in this the year of the tank in the NBA, where nine of 30 teams seem to be doing their damn best to bottom out, Casey is caught between the present, this season, the future, his future. A tightrope walk may be easy compared to what he is being asked to do. This is juggling several basketballs, all of them in the air, and he’s hoping none of them hit the ground.

And he has to part magician to do even that.

“You have to coach the guys that you’re given,” said Casey, in a one-on-one interview Tuesday. “Whatever happens (with me) happens. I’m not worried about ping pong balls (NBA draft lottery) or anything like that.

“My job is to make DeMar (DeRozan) better, to make Terrence (Ross) better and make Jonas (Valanciunas) better. Whether we win or not, that’s a different story.

“Nobody has said anything to me about tanking ... We’re trying to teach these guys how to win. The most difficult thing in sports is to win and grow. We’re trying to do both.