The Raptors after a week of waiting, have indeed are landing the not so secret first choice to replace Bryan Colangelo in Denver’s Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri. It cost them a lot of money but I will be the last person you will hear to complain about that. In fact that is exactly what the Raptors can and should do in terms of coaches and management positions. There is no limit on what you can spend in those areas and if you have it why not use it. Clearly Denver was not interested in overpaying to keep their Executive of the Year.
To win the award in back to back years will be far from easy. Bryan Colangelo has made that pretty certain it would seem. That said everyone was convinced that Urjiri would never be able to get a fair deal for the disgruntled Carmelo Anthony in Denver. Perhaps having a ring side seat for one of Colangelo’s biggest blunders in how he handled the Chris Bosh situation was a great guide.
Colangelo will be around to guide Ujiri if he so desires as well as Wayne Emery both of whom Masai thinks of as mentors from his time here with the Raptors. This is the second time the Raptors have taken Ujiri from the Nuggets as he was originally hired away from there to work as an assistant to Colangelo for his first tour of duty with the Raptors.
It is safe to say that Masai will be looked too as perhaps a messiah for an organization that is desperate to erase 18 years invested in the NBA with very little to show for it. Colangelo know first hand how that feels and at first he looked to be that God like figure that was going to fix the Raptors. He did deliver the only Division Title that this team has managed to acquire. That was the high point as the team never advanced out of the first round losing to both the Nets in 6 games and Magic in 5 games before going into playoff exile for the last 5 years.
Clearly Ujiri understands what he is getting himself into. Knowing is half the battle according to G.I Joe. That other half of the battle is not so easy but the Raptors got exactly who they wanted to get that job done. If he fails it will not be because the Raptors didn’t get the best man for the job. If he fails it might make the idea of this franchise ever being able to succeed seem bleak to impossible.
Welcome back Masai Ujiri and good luck trying to solve the rubik’s cube of the NBA that is the Toronto Raptors