TUESDAY, 9:52am: Colangelo will remain with the Raptors as the team's president, the club announced today in a press release. Colangelo will remain somewhat involved in basketball operations and will report directly to MLSE president/CEO Tim Leiweke, but the team is seeking a general manager that will have final authority on basketball decisions. The Raptors expect to hire a new GM within the next 30 days.
"After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization," Leiweke said in the release. "By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season."
Leiweke will also officially take over as MLSE president/CEO on June 3rd, rather than July 1st, according to the release.
MONDAY, 10:45am: Raptors ownership is preparing to make a major financial offer to Ujiri, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
10:04am: Bryan Colangelo will remain with the Raptors' parent organization in a "corporate" non-basketball role as the search continues for a new head of the Raptors organization, sources tell Doug Smith of the Toronto Star (via Twitter). MLSE has been negotiating with Colangelo this weekend to stay on in a signficant capacity while also talking with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri about assuming full control of the team's basketball operations (Twitter links).
Toronto held an option on Colangelo's contract for the 2013/14 season and today was their deadline to make a determination. The decision to move Colangelo out of the President/GM role could be a sign that they are on the brink of reaching an agreement with Ujiri.
The Raptors hired an outside firm to help them identify the best candidate for the GM role and that process led them to identify Ujiri as their top candidate. While it would appear that Toronto respects Colangelo's experience and business acumen, they are less-than-thrilled with the club's on-court performance in recent years.
Colangelo was expected to deliver a winner by year seven of his tenure but things haven't improved as expected since the Raptors won the Atlantic Division in 2007. Since then, the club has undergone a number of face lifts with the most notable coming in the form of Chris Bosh's departure in the summer of 2010.
Colangelo's decision to take Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 overall pick in the '06 draft also didn't pan out as hoped. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Raptors passed up the chance to take future All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, and Rajon Rondo to take the Italian forward. In fairness to the Raptors, however, the 2006 draft was littered with relative busts at the top of the board including Adam Morrison (No. 3), Tyrus Thomas (No. 4), and Shelden Williams (No. 5).