There is a plan, and a time and a place for everything, and Larry Tanenbaum and Raptors president Masai Ujiri are working at their own pace on all of it. The long-term future of Ujiri, whose contract runs out at the end of next season, is a growing concern among the team’s fans but Tanenbaum knows there is no need to rush. There are other priorities, as Ujiri spelled out last week. “Our fans, they love Masai for all that he’s contributed to the Raptors franchise and to our community and to our country — and our appreciation for him, that can’t be measured,” Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said in an interview Tuesday. “But it was his and my game plan to secure his management team extension before his own.”
Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, who has one year remaining on his contract, on Thursday said he has yet to enter discussions with team ownership about an extension. "No, I haven't had discussions, and honestly, coming out of this, things are a little raw," Ujiri said on a conference call with reporters. "I'm going to reflect a little bit, and we will address it when it's time to address it."
Ujiri was "super excited" after Nurse, the Coach of the Year this season after winning an NBA title with the Raptors last season, received a multiyear extension last week. Webster also is on the verge of getting an extension, Ujiri said. "The future is bright," Ujiri said. "But in terms of me, I haven't had those conversations, and I'll wait until those happen in the future."
Larry Tanenbaum told Postmedia he is not worried that another NBA team is once again trying to poach Masai Ujiri from the Toronto Raptors, adding that there’s no reason to believe the successful executive won’t remain in the city once his contract expires following the 2020-21 season. “We hope so,” Tanenbaum, who is MLSE part-owner and long-time chairman, said earlier this week at the Board of Governors’ meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif. “We haven’t talked (about an extension) at this point in time, but if you ask him, his intentions are pretty clear.”
When asked why a contract extension has not yet been offered, Tanenbaum said the timing wasn’t right. “Masai has a contract that goes for another two years — this season and next season — so there’s really no need at this point (to re-sign him),” he said.
For Tanenbaum, the fevered interest comes with the territory. “He is the best,” said Tanenbaum. “But no team can come to talk to him. That’s tampering. And every owner knows that. Masai is here to stay.”
The Wizards are preparing a six-year, $60 million offer for Raptors president Masai Ujiri, sources tell The Athletic’s Fred Katz and David Aldridge. Washington has been waiting on Ujiri since mid-May and did not want to make an official run at him until the Raptors’ playoff run ended. Owner Ted Leonsis plans to request permission from Toronto sometime soon. The Raptors won their first title in franchise history when they defeated the Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
Although an offer worth $10 million annually would place Ujiri among the league’s highest-paid executives, The Athletic previously reported that Ujiri’s decision likely would not come down to money. Raptors ownership, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, is loaded with revenue and could certainly increase Ujiri’s salary, which is somewhere in the $6 million to $7 million range currently, according to sources.
And then a reporter brought up the Wizards rumour. “I know Masai. Masai is like my son,” Tanenbaum said. “There’s no chance he’s leaving Toronto. You can ask him that one, too. I know Masai. … I think if you asked Masai, he has everything he wants. “We built a championship team together. What more could you want?”
Michael Grange: MLSE owner Larry Tanenbaum when asked about @wojespn report that Wizards owner @TedLeonsis is attempting to recruit Masai Ujiri with a $10-million a year offer and an ownership stake:
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.”
The Toronto Raptors and team president Masai Ujiri are in advanced negotiations on a contract extension, according to league sources.
Sources said that the Raptors and Ujiri are nearing agreement on a lucrative new deal that will keep the 46-year-old in Canada for the foreseeable future, even though he still has nearly two years left on the original five-year, $15 million pact he signed with Toronto in May 2013.
March 4, 2021 | 9:34 pm EST Update
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on his decision to start Nico Mannion at PG tonight: “Nico’s a true point guard. With Steph out, we need somebody to run the show, deliver the ball and get us organized. … It felt right to give him the start. Jordan (Poole) is going to play quite a bit as well.”
Kevin Love’s devotion to raising awareness and advocating for mental health during isolating times has earned him another honor. The Cavaliers forward and five-time All-Star received the first Humanitarian of the Year Award on Thursday night at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards, an annual event that brings out the city’s top sports names but was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Love first went public with his own mental health issues in 2018, chronicling those struggles in an essay. His openness and willingness to share his personal story since has helped erase stigmas about mental issues and led to the NBA adopting programs to assist players. During the pandemic, Love, who has been sidelined most of this season with a calf injury, donated $100,000 through his foundation to assist team employees and workers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. He’s also donated meals to workers at the Cleveland Clinic.
March 4, 2021 | 8:43 pm EST Update
Ben Golliver: Lakers’ LeBron James on Jazz as last two all-star picks: “There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz. You’ve got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. As great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was, we would never pick those guys in video games.”