The Raptors Turn the Page on Bryan Colangelo with a New GM On The Horizon
The Toronto Raptors appear to be most publicly pursuing Masai Ujiri. However there are a few other rumors Raptors floating around these days as well, from the ever fantasized Phil Jackson, to the Assistant GM of Oklahoma (Troy Weaver) and Kevin Pritchard of the Pacers.
Ujiri seems like the major front runner at this point with all the great work he’s done in Denver. He found a place (New York) for a distraught Carmelo Anthony who voiced his displeasure and unwillingness to continue playing for the franchise. Ujiri miraculously turned a forced trade into a solid PG in Raymond Felton, forward Danilo Gallinari who has been a major scorer (albeit injury troubled), the much underachieving Wilson Chandler whose potential still seems to be raved about despite lack of production, Timofey Mozgov and the Knicks’ 2014 first round pick – significant value for a Star wanting out. Ujiri also made other solid moves like bringing in Andre Iguodala while getting rid of a headache named Al Harrington in the process. Drafting Kennith Faried has also been a solid move. Ujiri however is not without some questionable moves (which GM isn’t?), like giving a big contact extension to Wilson Chandler and allowing Chris Andersen to walk away for nothing. I’m sure Miami sent a gift basket Ujiri’s way for that freebie.
One curious choice, if we can make it happen, would be Phil Jackson. Phil is friendly with Tim Leiweke, which may give us a chance at attracting Jackson to Toronto. Phil has been fantastic at managing the personalities of players who should probably have never been put on a team together (Shaq and Kobe for instance). Although Phil possesses an absolutely brilliant basketball mind, problems could arise should he bring in some hard to manage players. Could Dwayne Casey manage malcontents as flawlessly as Phil? We can hope that the presence of Phil Jackson might just be enough to attract players to come to Toronto and transform the Raptors into a destination organization.
It would seem at this point as well, that the Assistants in Oklahoma and elsewhere are flying under the radar at this point, being overshadowed by the better-known choices.
This is certainly an interesting time to be a Raptors fan – who will the team land as its new General Manager?