The Toronto Raptors kicked off their Media Day festivites on Monday, with Masai Ujrii being the first member to speak. Considering the fact that Toronto was linked to trades for stars like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell, Ujiri was assuredly going to be asked about those two.
Given Ujiri’s history of moving established Raptors names in trades for big names that can make a difference during a championship run, Toronto made sense as a potential landing spot for some of these stars. Ujiri gave it his best shot, but he seems to have resigned himself to the fact that this team is still in a good place without those moves.
Ujiri said that the Raptors had to be open to the possibility of acquiring one of those sensational players, but mentioned that the team had “a plan in mind here” when the offseason kicked off. It looks like he doesn’t sound overly irritated with failing to land one of those two.
In traditional Ujiri fashion, he decided to lean on the young players he had and move forward with Toronto’s uniquely constructed roster. However, the first part of the quote shows that Ujiri would consider blowing his project up if the right offer was thrown into his lap.
Toronto Raptors: Masai Ujiri discussed Kevin Durant rumors.
Perhaps no two players are more removed about the lack of a KD trade than Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby. Both of them were considered to be mortal locks to be included in a Durant package in addition to a half-decade worth of first-round picks. Durant deciding to return quickly put a stop to those rumors.
After some consternation over the availability of Scottie Barnes, who Ujiri always claimed was off the table, Toronto started poking around the Mitchell sweepstakes. Unwilling to give Utah a package similar to what the Cavaliers offered, Mitchell ended up in Cleveland.
The Raptors had a relatively quiet offseason, with the signing of Otto Porter Jr. standing out as the biggest new addition Toronto brought into the fold. Ujiri seemmost significantively unmoved by this, as he said the Raptors are “focused on who we are as a team and where we want to go.”
The Raptors are a year removed from winning 48 games with a very young team and no bench. The prevailing sentiment around the front office seems to be that this team is good enough to make some noise in the Eastern Conference, and Ujiri adhered to that all offseason long.