Despite rumors that the Wizards might try to make a run at him this offseason to become their head of basketball operations, Masai Ujiri told reporters today that he isn’t going anywhere. As Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter links) relays, the Raptors‘ president of basketball operations said he envisions a long-term future in Toronto.
Ujiri acknowledged that potential interest from other clubs is a “blessing,” but said that he’s happy and has grown as a person in Toronto, and wants to win more with the Raptors.
Here’s more from Ujiri’s end-of-season press conference today:
- Asked about Kawhi Leonard‘s upcoming free agency, Ujiri said he always feels “confident” about the Raptors’ chances, but will respect the star forward’s decision no matter what he does. Ujiri thinks the Raps have “built a trust” with Kawhi, adding that there have been positive talks lately (Twitter links via Murphy).
- According to Ujiri, he texted with Leonard last night and talked to “Uncle Dennis” today, and he believes there will be constant communication between the two sides. He’s leaving plans for a meeting up to Leonard’s camp, tweets Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun.
- The Raptors will be in a bit of a holding pattern this offseason until Leonard makes his decision, Ujiri admitted, but he’s fine with that. “We’ll wait,” he said, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter link). “He’s our player and he’s a superstar on our team and we’ll wait on that.”
- Ujiri would like to bring everybody back for next season, including Marc Gasol, who has a player option for 2019/20, and Danny Green, who will be an unrestricted free agent (Twitter link via Lewenberg).
- Pascal Siakam, the NBA’s Most Improved Player, is eligible for a rookie scale extension this offseason and Ujiri expects to meet with Siakam’s agent during Summer League next month (Twitter link via Murphy).