Report: Wizards Have 'No Imminent Plans' to Reach out to Raptors' Masai UjiriJune 14, 2019
The Washington Wizards have "no imminent plans" to reach out to Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Thursday night the Wizards were preparing to make a run at Ujiri to lead their basketball operations, with a potential offer including a $10 million annual salary as well as ownership equity in the franchise.
Ujiri has long been viewed as one of the top executives in the league, as his resume includes the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year award (with the Denver Nuggets) and now a championship.
He joined Toronto's front office in 2013 and has overseen the most successful run in franchise history. After the Raptors had made the postseason five times in 18 seasons prior to his arrival, he has helped guide them to the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, topping 50 wins in each of the past four years.
Toronto has made it to the Eastern Conference Finals twice since 2016 and reached its first-ever NBA Finals this season. Thanks to a bold trade for Kawhi Leonard last offseason, the Raptors dethroned the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors to capture their first Larry O'Brien Trophy.
As a result, Ujiri has reportedly generated interest elsewhere.
Washington is in a relatively similar position to the one Toronto found itself in last year. With John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards have made the postseason in four of the last six seasons. However, they have not been able to get over the hump with that All-Star backcourt, having not gotten out of the second round since 1979.
When healthy, Washington has the talent to be a playoff contender—but if the Wizards are ever going to take that next step, a bold decision-maker like Ujiri could be the answer. After all, it was Ujiri who broke up the DeMar DeRozan-Kyle Lowry duo to acquire Leonard, who was entering a contract year. And that's a trade that will live in Raptors lore.
Per Wojnarowski, Ujiri still has two years remaining on his contract in Toronto.