The Toronto Raptors have been one of the most consistent winners in the NBA over the last few seasons, as Masai Ujiri has done an impeccable job of turning them into a solid franchise and sustaining that success. Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves have tried their hardest to emulate that philosophy.
MLB legend Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore (who recently purchased a controlling interest in Minnesota) already showed confidence in former Raptors assistant Chris Finch by extending him. Even though Sachin Gupta has helped turn this team around, Minnesota’s names for their president of basketball operations to work with him are uncut insanity.
Connected Timberwolves writer Dane Moore reported that Rodriguez and Lore made a list of executives to poach for their vacant president of basketball operations role, with Ujiri near the top. Other preposterous names included Warriors mastermind Bob Myers, NBA legend Pat Riley, and 76ers architect Daryl Morey. What is A-Rod thinking?
The Timberwolves appear to be closer to naming Nuggets president Tim Connelly to that role, per the Athletic and the Denver Post’s Mike Singer. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high and trying to get a quality candidate to lead your team, but thinking that Ujiri is going to leave his job with Toronto to start over in Minnesota is foolish.
The Timberwolves want to grab Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri.
While there was some genuine doubt if Ujiri would return to Toronto after his contract expired, he ended up coming back in an elevated role that pits him closer to a partial ownership role than ever before. He even got a nice title change to Vice President.
We’ve been here before when it comes to other NBA teams trying to take Ujiri. The Wizards had reportedly been trying to snag Ujiri before the Raptors came forth with their godfather over. Even the allure of 696 home runs in the major leagues couldn’t lure Ujiri away from Canada.
Even if the Timberwolves gave him a blank check, Toronto is fresh off winning 48 games with the Rookie of the Year in Scottie Barnes on the roster. The number of jobs that could give Ujiri a better shot at turning a fringe contender into a no-doubt winner is very small, and Minnesota does not feature among them.
Ujiri is as integral to Toronto’s recent run of success as anyone. If he is going to leave, you have to make him an offer that is so ludicrous and over the top that he would be foolish to turn it down. Running the Timberwolves is not that offer.