When the New York Knicks officially dismiss team president Phil Jackson, a replacement candidate is Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors.
Jackson, who is expected to part ways with the Knicks today, had served as an executive for the Knicks since March 2014. He recently signed a two-year extension. Originally drafted by New York, he played for the team from 1967 until 1978.
Ujiri, meanwhile, was awarded NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2013. He has climbed the ranks of the Raptors front office, serving as an assistant general manager as well as Director of Global Scouting and general manager.
The organization gave him a contract as team president in September 2016. ESPN’s Ian Begley reports Knicks owner James Dolan has “long been a fan” of Ujiri.
Frank Isola had a slightly different explanation when discussing Ujiri (via New York Daily News):
The two worked on the Anthony trade when Ujiri worked for the Denver Nuggets. Ujiri also traded Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks for this year’s first-round pick and was prepared to trade Kyle Lowry to New York a few seasons ago before Dolan vetoed the move. So clearly, this falls under the category, “if you can’t beat him, hire him.”
Lowry said the deal to send him from the Raptors to the Knicks was “done” before Dolan got involved.
Meanwhile, current Knicks general manager Steve Mills will run the team until a decision is made.