Reports: Wizards preparing massive offer to Masai Ujiri

Ben Krimmel
June 14, 2019 - 8:51 am

Moments after the Toronto Raptors vanquished the dynasty of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals Thursday night, the Washington Wizards made their move to steal the headlines.

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The Wizards are preparing to offer Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri a contract that could pay him close to $10 million per year and the opportunity to gain ownership equity, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is expected to request formal permission to meet with Ujiri and offer a "staggering financial package," league sources told Wojnarowski.

According to The Athletic's Fred Katz and David Aldridge, Washington will offer Ujiri a six-year, $60 million contract. However, the Raptors are confident Ujiri will stay in Toronto.

“I know Masai. Masai is like my son. There’s no chance he’s leaving Toronto,” Raptors owner Larry Tanenbaum told reporters shortly after The Finals. “You can ask him that one, too. I know Masai.”

With Washington in the 10th week of its search for a new leader after firing longtime general manager and president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld on April 2, reports emerged in the last few days that Ujiri was the main target.

A report from Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington indicated the package to lure Ujiri could include overseeing all of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which, in addition to the Wizards, includes Capital One Arena, the Washington Capitals and other team properties. 

Greg Brady of Toronto's Sportsnet 590 The Fan said in May he wouldn't be surprised if Ujiri left Toronto for D.C.

"I would not dispel those Masai rumors about the Wizards," Brady told The Sports Junkies. "There's a lot of people here that are stuck in the moment, trying to enjoy the moment. But I think there's every chance that Masai Ujiri's running your team, the Wizards, next season. I think that's a reasonable possibility."

With the 2019 NBA Draft less than a week away, the Wizards may have interim GM Tommy Sheppard, who has run the organization since Grunfeld's dismissal, may be running the draft for the team.

Washington's search for a top basketball mind hit a road bump after Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly rejected an offer on May 20. The Wizards have interviewed two candidates: Oklahoma City executive Troy Weaver and former Atlanta and Cleveland GM Danny Ferry, but it doesn't appear either received an offer.

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