Raptors named the No. 2 best-managed team in NBA by ESPN

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 24: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors high fives Fred VanVleet #23 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 24: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors high fives Fred VanVleet #23 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors have been one of the best-run teams in the NBA for quite some time. They have gone from afterthoughts to NBA Champions over the course of the past decade, while consistently making the playoffs. The front office deserves a lot of credit for this turnaround and is getting its due recognition.

The man who deserves the most credit for turning things around for the Raptors is Ujiri. He became the Raptors’ general manager in 2013, a point in time when they had not been to the playoffs in five straight seasons and their last winning season was 2006-07. Their turnarounds have been reflected in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings.

This list is ESPN’s annual projection of each NBA team’s expected success on the court over the next three seasons. In the latest edition of the rankings, ESPN analysts ranked the Raptors’ management as the second-best in the NBA, behind only Pat Riley and the Miami Heat.

The Raptors’ overall rank was eighth, as they could not crack the top 10 in any of the other four categories upon which the rankings are based. They were ranked 14th in terms of their players, 12th in terms of financial spending power, 13th in the attractiveness of their market, and 11th in draft capital.

Toronto Raptors’management named the second-best in the NBA

When Ujiri arrived in 2013, the Raptors had never won more than 47 games in a regular season and had managed to finish higher than .500 only four times in their history. Since then, they have had a losing record during the regular season only once, won more than 47 games on eight occasions, and missed the playoffs on just one occasion.

During this period of time, they have won the first NBA Championship in franchise history, made two Eastern Conference Finals appearances, enjoyed eight Playoff runs, won six Atlantic division titles, and had five different All-Stars on the team. Not a bad run.


Of course, the sustained success that the Raptors have enjoyed during Ujiri’s time in Toronto has earned him recognition as one of the best executives in all of basketball. His promotion during the 2021 offseason was the culmination of decades of excellent work with the Raptors, Nuggets, and others.

Ujiri and company will need to show their prowess in the near future and have some big decisions to make. The long-term futures of star players Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are up in the air. Acing these negotiations could turn the Raptors into a winner for the next decade.

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