The Toronto Raptors have vowed to improve. Moves they’ve made include bringing in Rudy Gay and reportedly trying to bring in Phil Jackson. Now, they’ve allegedly offered Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri a five-year deal worth nearly $3 million annually, sources told ESPN The Magazine‘s Chris Broussard. According to the Toronto Star, Ujiri earned around $500,000 to run Denver last year.
Ujiri was the assistant GM for the Raptors for three years before joining the Nuggets. And, it doesn’t seem like he wants to go back to where he began. The Raptors have been attempting to become a serious team since the Vince Carter days. Only to somehow find a way to ruin it. When Carter pushed for a better team, management pretended like they wanted the same, only to back out on their promise.
Those are the old days. But a bad reputation is to fix.
Ujiri’s contract with Denver expires June 30 so he can make things official on July 1. It’s very unlikely that Denver will be able to match or exceed Toronto’s offer, which is over 500 percent more than Denver currently pays the NBA‘s Executive of the Year. Even though the Raptors put together a large contract, they’re still a little fish. They’ve still really made it to the upper hierarchy of NBA teams. It will probably take Ujiri more than five years to bring them to even the Nuggets level. Big free agents don’t typically consider the Raptors and this is another case of that. As far as executives go, Ujiri does the most with the least. He’s the ideal candidate.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Ujiri met with the Raptors over the weekend, with Denver’s blessing. If he really wanted to be the person to turn the team around, he probably wouldn’t still be considering the offer.