Masai Ujiri Rumors
That led to his first full-time job, with the Denver Nuggets. He switched from Denver to Toronto and back. In 2013, he was NBA executive of the year as the Nuggets general manager. The next year, he was lured back to run the Raptors organization. By now, there are very few important players in the college and pro games that he does not call a friend. He leveraged those relationships to get Giants of Africa started. The first camp took place in Ujiri’s hometown of Zaria, Nigeria, in 2003. The 50 invitees lacked the most basic equipment. Ujiri put a box in the middle of the Nuggets dressing room. Players dropped whatever they had lying around inside.
In Kenya, it’s another 16-year-old South Sudanese, Kon Bior. At 6-foot-6, Bior has the broad build and easy grace that mark the special ones. He is one of those players who seem spotlit on the floor. “He has the eyes of a killer,” Ujiri says. “That kid can be in the NBA.” Bior doesn’t need Ujiri’s help. He’s enrolled in one of Kenya’s best high schools, and already a bit of a local legend. Others have taken notice. Remember the name. He’s on his way somewhere. Ujiri has to wait like everyone else to see exactly where. But watching Bior run the floor, Ujiri still can’t help muttering to himself: “He would look so good in a Raptors jersey.”
It’s not impossible to think the Raptors would make those kinds of sacrifices, especially if Thompson continues his upward trend. But it is somewhat off base for anyone to believe that the Raptors have the cash to add Thompson. Raptors President Masai Ujiri has been pretty adept at finding creative ways to land players he covets, but it’s not a home run that Thompson can just walk to Toronto without the Raptors having to make some hard cap decisions, even with the salary cap expected to balloon to roughly $90 million next season.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed centre Jonas Valanciunas to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. “Jonas’ contributions continue to improve with each season and we view him as a significant part of what we are building in Toronto,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri.
The league increased its effort this season bringing several high-profile NBA players and coaches to Johannesburg, South Africa for three days of basketball and life instruction for nearly 60 of Africa best players born in 1998. “What will come of this is the development of more clinics, more camps and more youth competition,” said Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, who was born in Nigeria. “It continues to grow, and this will expose more young players and give them more opportunities and we have to create that opportunity.