Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors Thank Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green
After an exciting 12 months, it was a very tough weekend for Toronto Raptors fans.
The team bid farewell to Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, signalling a massive shift in the team’s short term future. Team President of Basketball Operations, Masai Ujiri issued a statement over the weekend thanking both men for their contributions to what turned into the greatest year in franchise history:
“We are very thankful for the year that Kawhi and Danny played with us here in Toronto, and I know the city and the entire country of Canada are grateful for everything they did to help us to win our first NBA championship. On behalf of the Raptors, I say a very heartfelt thank you to Kawhi and to Danny, and we send them and their families nothing but good wishes. As an organization, the Raptors will focus on the future and continue our pursuit of a second championship.”
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 6, 2019
The Toronto Raptors also made a touching tribute video for their two departing former players.
“I think you can’t blame a guy for wanting to go home,” head coach Nick Nurse said when confronted by the media during Las Vegas Summer League over the weekend. “That’s what he texted me today. ‘I’m going home.’ And I just said, ‘You’ve changed a lot of lives, man, by what you’ve accomplished in Toronto. Mine especially.’ And thanked him for what he did, and we’ll look to the future, and we’ll look to [win a title] again.”
At this point, it is uncertain what the future holds for this Raptors team.
As currently constructed, a playoff spot is all but guaranteed for a team that went 17-5 in Leonard’s absence during the regular season, but at the same time, with aging veterans Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka all entering the final years of their deals, the Raptors future seems murky.
But that wasn’t the main priority for the Raptors this weekend as they signed two young wings in Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis Jefferson.