The Toronto Raptors, in recent years, have been a model NBA team that other franchises look to emulate. Although they struggle to attract superstar players at times, they have proven that in the end, winning is all that matters, and president Masai Ujiri has played a vital role in that regard.
Ujiri has taken the reigns in 2013 after a very successful stint with the Denver Nuggets, and he’s turned a team that was a doormat for the rest of the Atlantic Division into one of the most consistent, reliable winners in the league.
A big part of that success can be due to the players and the culture they have helped develop. However, the most vital role belongs to Ujiri, who has yet to sign a contract extension with the Raptors and might be looking beyond the NBA for his next job.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Ujiri has developed himself as a “global sports executive” who might have more options than signing with an NBA team. In fact, Woj suggested that it might be possible that Ujiri looks “beyond the NBA and even maybe beyond North America” for his next role.
Masai Ujiri might leave the Toronto Raptors.
Ujiri founded the Giants of Africa in 2003, a basketball camp that first started in Nigeria, in the hopes of finding the next great African NBA star He has been a staple name globally and is also the director of Basketball without Borders, a basketball instructional camp that helps bring people together in the name of the sport.
Ujiri’s impact outside the NBA is probably why Woj would suggest that he can be looking elsewhere for his next job.
There is no doubt that Ujiri’s role as part of the Raptors organization has been more than stellar. Since becoming part of the team in 2013, Toronto has the third-highest win percentage (64%) behind only the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. The fact is, Ujiri has turned the Raptors around and has a Championship ring to show for it as well.
A few years back in 2019, there were rumors that Ujiri was intrigued by the Washington Wizards GM position. That was short-lived and proved unlikely as the Raptors went on to win the NBA championship that year. In the short term, Toronto won its first NBA title.
In the long term, the question remained whether or not they can continue to follow that success for the next season. If Ujiri starts to see some doubts, he could leave the job of running the Raptors to Bobby Webster, who just signed a contract extension, while he looks at something bigger and better.
Masai Ujiri could let Bobby Webster run the Toronto Raptors.
The following year the Raptors lost out on the sweepstakes for Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers, whom Ujiri helped bring to Toronto at the expense of fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan.
Nonetheless, Ujiri maintained the success of the team, and the outlook would remain optimistic. Fast-forward to the acquisition of Gary Trent Jr in a trade that sent Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers, and Ujiri continues to prove he’s still able to make a positive impact.
Toronto has made it to the playoffs every year since Ujiri has taken over, although it seems like it might be coming to an end with the Raptors fighting for a play-in spot. Regardless, the hope is that Ujiri stays as part of the rebuild, but if not, he might be looking towards another role outside the NBA.