Raptors’ Chairman: Masai Ujiri “Here To Stay”

As one report after another links Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri to the Knicks, Raptors chairman Larry Tanenbaum tells Michael Traikos of The Toronto Sun that there’s no reason to believe Ujiri won’t remain in Toronto beyond the expiration of his current contract in 2021. Given Ujiri’s track record, interest from the Knicks – and other teams – comes as no surprise, but the Raptors don’t plan to just let him walk away.

“He is the best,” Tanenbaum said. “But no team can come to talk to him. That’s tampering. And every owner knows that. Masai is here to stay.”

A recent Howard Beck report suggested that Ujiri has turned down a lucrative contract extension offer from the Raptors, but that was disputed this week by Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Tanenbaum confirmed to Traikos that Ujiri hasn’t rejected a contract offer.

“We haven’t talked (about an extension) at this point in time, but if you ask him, his intentions are pretty clear,” Tanenbaum said. Asked why the Raptors haven’t yet offered Ujiri an extension, Tanenbaum explained: “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).”

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reiterated in a report this morning that there have been no extension talks yet between Ujiri and the Raptors, but said Toronto ownership might make an offer in 2020 that expands Ujiri’s responsibilities and increases his compensation.

As Shelburne and Woj note, Knicks owner James Dolan has long been interested in Ujiri, who has consistently won trades with the Knicks, dating back to when he extracted a significant package for Carmelo Anthony as the Nuggets’ head of basketball operations. Dolan has privately expressed a fascination with Ujiri and shared those feelings with common friends, sources tell the ESPN duo.

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10 thoughts on “Raptors’ Chairman: Masai Ujiri “Here To Stay”

    • Mpicc33

      Cue incoming press release where the Knicks claim they never had interest and wouldn’t sign him under any circumstances

  1. Skip, Tampa

    Lets see, he can go from a Parade Float to a Pallet in the Ally. That would be a very strong maybe, NOT.

  2. If he wasn’t offered an extension, it’s only because the subject was raised and indicated he didn’t want to be offered it. The top FO position (whatever the title) is inherently a long term one. You never want a guy going into the last couple of years of a deal, unless you’re unsure if you want him back (actually, even then).

    There could be lots of reasons he didn’t want it offered now, but all of them come back to valuing the right to leave in 2 years (at least as of the end of last year). Not wanting out, necessarily, just the option. It’s not like a player, who might get hurt, and would opt for long term security unless he really wanted out.

  3. Jason Lancaster

    If Ujuri is willing to work for Dolan, he’s not half as smart as we think he is.

    Unless the compensation is outrageous, there’s no reason to take that job. Dolan can’t stop tinkering.

  4. julyn82001

    Not a Raptors fan, but Ujuri must be great considering Knicks’ interest….

    • Theone23

      He is great, but it has nothing to do with the Knicks interest. Knicks thing everybody wants to come to NYC, which simply isn’t the case. Toronto is a superior city and superior organization. Pretty simple imo.

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