While the Toronto Raptors weren’t directly involved in any of the big stories that broke on what was a very busy day in the NBA, but they could end up seeing their front office make a major downgrade. Masai Ujiri returning still hasn’t confirmed that he’ll be back, and a potential landing spot in the Washington Wizards might be trying to lure him to DC.
The Wizards joined the offseason coaching carousel, as they tense contract negotiations ended up costing Scott Brooks his job. Considering that he was fresh off getting Washington to the postseason, this was certainly an unexpected news dump.
Ujiri, in addition to legendary point guard Kyle Lowry, saw his contract expire at the end of this season. While Toronto will try to do everything to retain him, the possibility of Ujiri leaving for a job beyond the NBA or with a team like the Wizards could still come to fruition.
Washington would be foolish to turn down the chance to hire Ujiri if he is available. By letting go of Brooks, the Wizards might’ve given Ujiri the freedom to remake more of the roster than originally anticipated, and that could help them land this big fish target.
Are the Wizards trying to lure Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri?
If Ujiri wants the freedom to pick his new coach in Washington, he now has that. Perhaps he wants to find a way to move off of Russell Westbrook’s contract? Now that he no longer has a coach that has been tied at the hip to Westbrook over the course of his career, that might become a bit easier.
While the Wizards are projected to be over the cap next year, and they are saddled with both Westbrook’s supermax and a Davis Bertans deal that is looking more cringeworthy with each passing game, Beal is still there, and they have a nice young nucleus of Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, and whoever ends up being the No. 15 pick in the draft.
In addition to the fact they could be willing to give him a blank check, Ujiri might be intrigued by a scoring-laden roster in arguably the worst division in the game. Toronto, meanwhile, is a roster that is in flux at the moment in the toughest division the sport has to offer. It’s far from a done deal, but Washington isn’t a dumpster fire.
If Toronto is willing to either promote Bobby Webster or seek external candidates to replace Ujiri, the man who helped orchestrate the only championship in Raptors franchise history could, unfortunately, try to pull off that same trick in Washington. The Raptors might be the favorites for Ujiri, but they must keep an eye on their Eastern rivals