'Reasonable possibility' Masai Ujiri leaves Raptors for Wizards

Josh Luckenbaugh
May 28, 2019 - 10:09 am

He constructed the Raptors team that just reached its first NBA Finals in franchise history and orchestrated the trade for Kawhi Leonard. But would Toronto team president Masai Ujiri consider joining the Wizards front office this summer? 

You betcha, says Greg Brady of Toronto's Sportsnet 590 The Fan. 

"I would not dispel those Masai rumors about the Wizards," Brady told The Sports Junkies Tuesday. "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."

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported on April 30 Ujiri "is intrigued by the idea of moving to Washington." Ujiri is the director of the NBA's "Basketball Without Borders" Africa program, and as Brady notes, Ujiri may think he could get more done for the program being in D.C.

"He was at the White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama was there, maybe four years in a row," said Brady. "He and Barack Obama — everyone can say, 'Hey, I know that guy — they're friends. They're close to good friends." 

"That's not the be-all end-all for why Masai might go to D.C., but Masai thinks of himself as a real global guy for the sport. And maybe he thinks he can get more done in your capital city than in our largest city."

The Wizards remain without a president of basketball operations after firing Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. The only person who has reportedly received an offer for the position is Nuggets team president Tim Connelly, who turned it down. Interim GM Tommy Sheppard, Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver, and Danny Ferry have all interviewed for the permanent position. 

Bringing in Ujiri would immediately generate excitement in the Wizards after his success with the Raptors. Ujiri also spent time as the executive VP of basketball operations for the Nuggets, where he won the NBA Executive of the Year award in 2012-13. 

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