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Masai Ujiri Weighing Offers From Raptors, Nuggets

MONDAY, 11:09am: League sources tell Michael Grange of that it's still not clear whether Ujiri is leaning toward accepting the Raptors' offer. According to Grange, the Nuggets have made a "determined offer" to try to keep their GM, and Ujiri is weighing his options.

The Raptors, who Grange says have offered Ujiri a four-year deal worth about $9MM, remain optimistic that they'll get their man.

SUNDAY, 8:41am: Ujiri would stay with the Nuggets if they matched the offer from the Raptors, according to HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler, who believes Denver will step up with the money necessary to keep him (Twitter links). 

SATURDAY, 1:07pm: Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke believed he and Ujiri had an agreement in principle on a multiyear, multimillion dollar deal before the Raptors position opened up, reports Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post.

"In my mind, we had an agreement but it doesn't matter because I would never hold someone back from an opportunity they might be curious about," Kroenke said. "Especially someone I hold in such high regard as Masai. If it was any other team, I wouldn't even have thought about granting permission to speak to him. But it's his former team and its not entirely a black-and-white situation. He'll make the decision he thinks is best for himself, and I'll support him no matter what."

FRIDAY, 10:02pm: The Raptors have offered Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri a multiyear contract that will double, or perhaps triple, the best offer Denver has made, and it appears likely the executive will jump to Toronto, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Ujiri will take the next couple of days to consider the move, but there's "significant momentum" behind his negotiations with the Raptors, Wojnarowski writes.

A source tells Wojnarowski that Nuggets brass appears to be moving on, and it looks like the team's principal owners, the Kroenke family, aren't motivated to increase their offer to Ujiri, who reportedly made just $500K this past season as one of the league's lowest-paid executives. Marc Stein of reported this week that early estimates suggested the Raptors would offer Ujiri a salary of more than $2MM. That number appears to have grown close to $3MM, as Wojnarowski reported earlier today.

Ujiri served as assistant GM in Toronto under the recently reassigned Bryan Colangelo before taking over Denver's front office in the summer of 2010. Since that time, Ujiri completely revamped the Nuggets, trading Carmelo Anthony for a bounty widely lauded as the best return for a superstar in recent memory. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun notes how Ujiri's skills as a talent evaluator and trade negotiator fit Raptors CEO Tim Leiweke's description of the ideal man for Toronto's GM job. The 42-year-old recipient of this year's Executive of the Year award has received overtures from other teams in the past, notably the Sixers last summer, but hasn't been close to leaving the Nuggets until now.

Ujiri's contract with the Nuggets expires June 30th. Raptors officials met with Ujiri today, and the two sides seemed to hit it off, expediting movement toward a deal. If Ujiri were to turn the Raptors down, the team appears to have interest in pairing Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard with Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver.

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One thought on “Masai Ujiri Weighing Offers From Raptors, Nuggets

  1. Sounds like lip service for angry Nuggets fans…if you had an agreement, it would’ve been signed…

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