The Raptors simply aren’t going to let president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri waltz down to New York and take the Knicks‘ job before his contract – which runs through the 2020/21 campaign – expires. New York would have to send Toronto compensation if the franchise intends to hire him this summer and Ujiri wants to leave — but what would that compensation look like?
Ian Begley of SNY.tv sniffed around for the answer and learned that one NBA team recently demanded two first-round picks when another club inquired about letting its top executive out of his contract. Talks between those two teams stalled because of the price tag, but Begley hears that the two first-rounders are likely to be the baseline for any Ujiri-to-New York deal.
Raptors chairman Larry Tannenbaum recently said Ujiri wasn’t going anywhere. “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.”
It’s not certain whether or not Ujiri has interest in the Knicks despite widespread speculation. There were conflicting reports on whether the executive turned down a long-term extension with the Raptors, with Tannenbaum denying that the team had made such an offer yet.