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Saturday, June 1st, 2013 at 12:16 pm  |  24 responses

Masai Ujiri Leaves Nuggets to Join Raptors


The Raptors hired Masai Ujiri as their new general manager. Ujiri lands a five-year, $15 million deal—reportedly far more than the Nuggets were willing to offer the Executive of the Year. He’ll have to work some magic with a Toronto roster that hasn’t made the Playoffs in five years. Per Yahoo!:

Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri has accepted a five-year, $15 million contract to run the basketball operations of the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The NBA’s Executive of the Year this season, Ujiri is considered one of the most accomplished young executives in sports and has been coveted by several organizations over the past two years. Denver offered Ujiri a contract extension, and the decision to leave the Nuggets was especially difficult given his strong relationship with team president Josh Kroenke. As much as anything, that led to the Ujiri’s delay in deciding whether to take the job with Toronto.

Ujiri, 42, had been considering the Toronto offer for a week and finally informed the teams of his decision on Friday. His contract with the Nuggets – whom he rebuilt into a Western Conference contender in the post-Carmelo Anthony era – expired on June 30.

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  • Lloyd

    Well…let’s see how this thing goes…

  • Melvin flynt

    he did a good job with denver, this guy seems like a good fit.. Bryan colandro is garbage!

  • MUBWAR

    masai came up under colangelo a few years ago. soooo

  • Melvin flynt

    so what if he did?.. sometimes the student surpasses the teacher and thats what happened!!!– gotta make moves in the raptors organization enough of all the BS!, THEY NEED TO PUT AN PROPER TEAM TOGETHER!– THE BUCK STOPS THERE COLANDRO!..

  • Melvin flynt

    JUST LOOK AT DENVERS TEAM, COMPARED TO THE RAPTORS! LOOK WHO WORKING AND WHOS NOT!!

  • Mike Gilbert

    First order of business….Andrea for Amare

  • Bojangles`

    I’d rather amnesty Andrea than take on Amare’s contract

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    This is really not much different than Colangelo. What Ujiri has done in Denver is not that impressive (imo). Unless the Nuggets can win as currently constructed? They are only going to get worse. Their financial situation is bleak. They’ve spent super star money on 4 guys who aren’t superstars. Luckily the team as a whole meshes well, otherwise, they’d look like the Raptors.

  • Datkid

    I disagree. Denver’s in great position to trade for a superstar or 2 and still be really nicely balanced. unfortunately they don’t have a GM capable of pulling that off. but a couple of the guys on that team have superstar talent waiting to be unleashed IMO (Anthony Randolph, javale mcgee, Ty Lawson, and Gallo if can figure out how to shoot 3′s like he did during his rookie year)

  • Datkid

    I think Denver’s about to slowly decline. that front office kept them relevant and powerful.

  • theDankerNuggets

    drafting Lawson and Faried in the later 1st round, and getting a way better deal for Melo than any other team has for their superstar were all great moves by Masai. I can definitely see this team decline from here, they have some tough decisions to make with their roster and I would feel way better about them with Masai

  • theDankerNuggets

    Say it ain’t so Kroenke :(

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    Masai was “executive vice president in charge of basketball operations” during his time in Denver. What exactly does that mean? Was there a GM calling the shots or was he the highest “basketball” guy? A lot of articles say he built that Nuggets team but I wasn’t sure with his title.

    Also, I don’t think the Raptors are too far off a playoff spot in the East. I honestly believe that the team could have made it this season had it not been for all the injuries. A healthy Bargnani contributing 16-18PPG would have surely pushed them over the hump.

  • Jimbo

    His first move better be getting ride of Bargnani

  • Bojangles

    I agree with what you’re saying but they didn’t draft Lawson. Minnesota and Kahn did and traded him to Denver. They drafted Flynn, Rubio and Lawson that year.

  • Kid-Canada

    Marc Stein ‏@ESPNSteinLine

    First order of biz for new Raps GM Masai Ujiri: Word is he’ll shop Andrea Bargnani everywhere he can in hopes of moving him before July 1

  • theDankerNuggets

    oh yeah i forgot Minny drafted him (and Flynn and Rubio haha). i don’t know who they drafted with the pick we gave them so it might not look like a great move but the point is Lawson has played way better than most people were say he would and I think it says a lot about Masai’s ability to evaluate talent to make that move

  • VC

    Its ok. Denver has had like 3 different GM’s in the last 10 years and despite that they’ve been good all them years. Yes Masai is the one who made this team great but it wont be a huge loss, just watch. At the end of the day its the players that matter and who win chips. Did Masai take the nuggs to the finals? No. Will Lebron James take his team to the finals? Yes. Its a players league period

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    see ya!

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Anthony Randolph????? He’s been done for years now…. Nothing to see there…

  • Mack

    Ujiri’s to-do list should look something along these lines:

    - AMNESTY BARGNANI

    - Sign a solid back-up PG or combo guard so we can keep John Lucas’ minutes minimal.
    - Try to trade Kleiza or Fields for a back-up 4/5 to help Amir and JV.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I mean I could say that about Toronto.
    .
    Rudy Gay, Demar DeRozan, Jonas Valunciunas, Amir Johnson

  • Datkid

    I could see why it looks like that, but I think the right coach could really get him to develop.

  • Datkid

    The difference though is that the nuggets built a core that’s literally a piece of away from being a contender while never missing the playoffs. The raptors have kinda sucked consistently for a while.

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