Jeff Weltman Rumors
When free agency opened, Masai Ujiri and Jeff Weltman enlisted the help of Dwane Casey, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan to recruit two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol. Just as they believed to have sold him on Toronto and were ready to dump Terrence Ross’ contract in a trade to make it happen, Tim Duncan announced his retirement and Gregg Popovich came calling.
The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed President Masai Ujiri to a multi-year contract extension and promoted Jeff Weltman to general manager and Bobby Webster to assistant general manager/vice-president basketball strategy. Ujiri will continue to oversee basketball operations as president of the club. “I am grateful to the Board and Mr. Tanenbaum for the opportunity to continue our progress to build the Raptors into one of the top franchises in the NBA,” said Ujiri. “I’m also excited that Jeff and Bobby are being rewarded for their hard work and valuable contributions to our program. My family thanks the NBA, Raptors players and coaches, staff, Raptors fans, the city of Toronto and Canada for this opportunity. Toronto is home for us.”
This contract isn’t about what Ross has done for the Raptors, but what the Raptors believe he will do for them in the future. “What we’re doing is betting on the person. We’re saying all the ingredients are there, the development curve is heading in the right direction and we’re betting that he’s going to continue along that path,” Raptors vice-president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said Tuesday in Dallas following the team’s morning shootaround.
“Any time you have a rookie contract the guys, just by definition, are at a stage in their career where they’re probably yet to realize their potential so you’ve got to find that middle ground between where you think the player will go and where he is now,” Weltman said. “That’s why a lot of extensions don’t get done. But, yeah, we like to feel we’ve found some middle ground with Terrence where we’re paying him in the hope that he becomes a great player and we think he has that in him.”
The Raptors view this contract as completely in line with where contracts in the NBA are headed. “The cap we all know is going north and salaries are going to escalate along with that,” Weltman said. “I don’t think it’s any secret, I don’t think we’re ahead of the curve to say that it’s going to be a new financial landscape for the league coming around the corner and this is probably reflective of that jump.”