Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Toronto Raptors signed Masai Ujiri to be
the team's general manager on Friday.
According to multiple sources, including USA Today and Yahoo! Sports, the deal
is five years and worth $15 million.
"We feel very lucky to have Masai in our organization," said Tim Leiweke,
President and CEO of MLSE. "He is a proven judge of talent and we look for him
to be a big part of creating a winning atmosphere, leading us to the playoffs
and, ultimately, delivering NBA championships for Toronto."
Ujiri, 42, was recently named NBA Executive of the Year after he helped Denver
win 57 games and finish third in the Western Conference. The Nuggets' season
came to an end, though, with a loss to the Golden State Warriors in the first
round of the playoffs.
A native of Nigeria, Ujiri became the first African-born general manager when
he was hired by the Nuggets in 2010 and was responsible for rebuilding the
Nuggets after trading away Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, including
receiving Andre Iguodala in the four-team trade that sent Dwight Howard to the
Los Angeles Lakers.
For Ujiri, it will be a homecoming of sorts, as he was the Raptors' director
of global scouting in 2007 and assistant general manager from 2008-10. He will
also be working with his old boss, Bryan Colangelo, who was stripped of his GM
duties on May 21, but will still act as team president.
"To come back to the Raptors, to live in such a great city, and work in an
organization that has committed all the resources necessary to win
championships was a huge factor in the decision," said Ujiri. "I have already
developed a great relationship with Tim Leiweke and I can't wait to get back
to Canada to build a team that is poised to take the next step in the NBA."
The Raptors finished 34-48 this past season, their fifth straight losing
record, and have not made the playoffs since the 2007-08 campaign.
The Sports Network