Raptors' Masai Ujiri reportedly intrigued by Wizards' GM opening, but unlikely to be allowed to interview elsewhere
The Raptors are unlikely to let their highly coveted team president interview for other job openings in the league
As the Washington Wizards search for their first new general manager in 16 years after firing Ernie Grunfeld toward the end of the regular season, one big name has popped up in rumor circles: current Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. According to a report, the Wizards' job opening has Ujiri's attention.
Via Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
"The Raptors president, considered one of the NBA's top front office minds, is intrigued by the idea of moving to Washington, multiple sources tell NBC Sports Washington.
Consider Ujiri a significant long shot despite his attraction to the market, which comes in part to viewing Washington as a larger platform for the "Basketball Without Borders" program. Ujiri serves as director of the program that sponsors various basketball camps and coaching clinics in his native Africa. His wife also grew up in the D.C. area."
Although Ujiri is intrigued by the Wizards' job opening, it is stated in that same article that the Raptors are "unlikely to let Ujiri interview for any current opening, including the Lakers', according to a league source."
Ujiri, who originally joined the Raptors in 2013 and signed an extension with the franchise in 2016, is one of the most highly-regarded NBA executives around the league. Ujiri won NBA Executive of the Year during the 2012-13 season while he was still serving as the head of the Denver Nuggets' basketball operations. The Nuggets finished with a 57-25 record that season, placing third in the Western Conference.
With Ujiri leading the way for the Raptors, Toronto has had its greatest success during its 24-year franchise history. The Raptors made their first Eastern Conference finals appearance during his tenure and had the best record in the East for the first time when they posted a 59-23 record during the 2017-18 season.
On the other hand, the Wizards are an extremely dysfunctional franchise that will be facing a major rebuilding process in the coming years. Furthermore, the next general manager of the team has to worry about how to handle, and possibly get rid of, John Wall's four-year, $169 million contract.
With all of that said, considering Toronto is well aware of how valued Ujiri is as a lead man and also factoring in that it just posted the second-best record in the East during the 2018-19 season, there is no logical reason to expect the Raptors to allow Ujiri to interview with the Wizards or anywhere else.
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