Toronto Raptors Ownership Remains Confident in Bringing Masai Back
The Toronto Raptors are entering a very important offseason and one that can be franchise-altering.
After their seven consecutive year playoff streak came to a screeching end, the Raptors will be forced to regroup and re-tool in hopes of getting back on track next season.
Two key members of the Raptors championship run have already been extended long-term in general manager Bobby Webster and head coach Nick Nurse. The missing link remains the president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, the lead architect of the first championship team in Raptors history. Despite Ujiri’s refusal to negotiate a new contract during the season, the MLSE is willing to do everything possible to keep Ujiri and ownership appears to be incredibly confident in their ability to retain him.
“They love him, and they believe in him,” said a source close to the MLSE board. “He’s won them a championship and they believe he’s going to win them some more.”
Ujiri has been in charge of the team’s front office since 2013, but to this point has remained quiet on his future with the organization.
“Masai doesn’t share a lot; he’s very private and strategic in his own way,” said the source close to MLSE. “But if you were asking ‘Are they going to sign Masai?’ I would put it at 95 percent yes. They’re going to try to sign him for as long as they reasonably can, [but] if they have to sign him for less [years] they’ll sign him for less. They don’t have a lot of leverage. They want him. If he wants [a shorter deal], what are they going to say, no?”
It’s no secret that Ujiri is an integral part of the organization and it will be interesting to see to what lengths the MLSE will go in order to bring him back next season.