Nigerian basketball icon, Masai Ujuri has become the beautiful bride all other teams are hunting around to hook as their next management guru, following his transformation of Toronto Raptors into NBA Champions.
Ujiri was hired by The Raptors in 2013 as general manager and, three years later, in 2016, he became team president and is under contract through 2021, but the franchise’s success has put him up for grabs by lucrative suitors.
Ironically, he was in doubt of continue on the job at the start of the season, why many critics blasted his transfers and purchases for the Canada-based Raptors but, after taking them to their first ever NBA title and becoming the first team to take the gong up North across America’s border, the club’s president is now wanted by other ambitious teams in the league.
This is sequel to reports that Washington Wizards are reportedly preparing to offer the architect of the 2019 NBA champion Toronto Raptors a massive deal that could pay him upwards of $10 million a year.
The Wizards don’t want to waste time, either, with plans to reach out to the Raptors “soon” for permission to interview Ujiri on the heels of him delivering Toronto its first NBA title ever.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Washington’s package would also include equity in the team, while running the team operations and “a larger leadership role in the Monumental Sports and Entertainment company that oversees the Wizards and NHL’s Capitals.”
The Wizards initially focused on Denver Nuggets’ president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, a Maryland native, but were soundly rejected by the one seen to be their own son.
However, ESPN reported further that The Wizards have also interviewed Oklahoma City chief executive, Troy Weaver, and former Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers’ general manager, Danny Ferry.
All this comes after Raptors secured their first NBA championship title on Thursday, topping an injury-battered Warriors team in Game 6.
Behind a hot start from Kyle Lowry and a late closeout after Klay Thompson suffered a knee injury in the third quarter, the Raptors secured a 114-110 victory to ensure that the Larry O’Brien Trophy would return to Toronto in their possession.
Lowry, Kawhi Leonard, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam all had big games, with each surpassing 20 points as Toronto turned back a gutsy performance from a Warriors team riddled with injuries.
The Warriors lost Thompson when he fell awkwardly after getting fouled on a dunk attempt in the third quarter.
That left Golden State to play the fourth quarter without two of their three best players after Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury in Game 5.
Postgame reports on Thompson’s knee confirmed the worst, that he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
Toronto then took a 104-101 lead on a VanVleet 3-pointer with 3:46 left and would not relinquish despite the best efforts of Golden State’s role players keep their three-peat hopes alive.