Raptors Dismiss Ed Stefanski

The Raptors have dismissed Ed Stefanski, the team's executive vice president of basketball operations, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Stefanski had a year remaining on his contract, and figures to be a hot commodity on the front office market, Wojnarowski tweets. The move appears to be the first major decision for GM Masai Ujiri, whom the team hired Friday.

Stefanski has served as the primary basketball decision maker for the Nets, from June 2004 to December 2007, and Sixers, from December 2007 to August 2010. He joined the Raptors in October 2011, during the lockout. HoopsWorld's Stephen Brotherston argued earlier this spring that Stefanski should receive a larger role within Toronto's front office, and while that's not going to happen, it appears he'll be in demand around the league. The Nuggets have an open GM position with Ujiri's departure, and the Kings look like they want to replace Geoff Petrie. The Grizzlies could have an opening, too, if they part ways with GM Chris Wallace.

Former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo remains with the team in a business role, though he may retain some input on the basketball side, as he explained last month to Hoops Rumors. With Colangelo, Ujiri's former boss, still around, the new GM may have pushed for Stefanski's exit in an effort to limit the number of voices within the front office, though that's just my speculation. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun figured a front-office shakeup was coming in the wake of Ujiri's hiring. 

Ujiri must decide on the fate of coach Dwane Casey, but it appears Casey will return.

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