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Leiweke Lands Masai Ujiri To Run Raptors
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On May 31, 2013 @ 6:25 pm In Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
It took a week, but according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Toronto Raptors’ offer to Masai Ujiri of $15 million over five seasons was too much for the Denver Nuggets to match and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO and president Tim Leiweke finally made his first big-time hire in Toronto. Ujiri will be rejoining the Raptors as general manager (or an equivalent title) after a three-year absence.
Ujiri was the Raptors’ assistant general manager under then president and general manager Bryan Colangelo in 2010 when Denver tapped him as their second choice to become their general manager. The Nuggets had wanted David Griffin, who had spent 17 seasons with the Phoenix Suns, but they went quickly back to Ujiri after Griffin turned them down. Three successful seasons later and Ujiri had won the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year award.
The first African-born general manager of a North American professional sports team, Ujiri did not have much time to adjust to his new role. Superstar Carmelo Anthony wanted out of Denver and in his first big deal, Ujiri sent Anthony to the New York Knicks and proved that teams could trade a disgruntled franchise player and be just as good afterwards. Ujiri has been adept at the art of the deal in Denver, but no acquisition better illustrates this than the four-team deal that netted Andre Iguodala this past summer. The team Ujiri built had the Nuggets’ best record in 37 years last season.
This is the second time in a row the Raptors have hired a recent NBA Executive of the Year. Current president Bryan Colangelo won the award the season before joining Toronto.
Masai Ujiri has agreed to a 5 year deal for $15 million with Toronto, league sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 31, 2013
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