Knicks Rumors: James Dolan 'Plotting' Another Pursuit of Raptors' Masai Ujiri

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: The Toronto Raptors and Masai Ujiri celebrate after winning the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors after Game Six of the NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

After another dreadful start to a season, the New York Knicks have reportedly targeted Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri as someone who can turn things around.

According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, owner James Dolan is "plotting to take another run" at Ujiri, even if it takes "Phil Jackson-type money" to lure him away from the reigning NBA champions.

The Knicks are 2-8 to begin the 2019-20 campaign, and Isola reported "time may be running out" for current Knicks president Steve Mills.

Ujiri is one of the most proven executives in the NBA. He won Executive of the Year with the Denver Nuggets in 2012-13 before transforming the Raptors into a contender and eventually a champion last season.

The Knicks first targeted him in 2017 as a replacement for Phil Jackson, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Sources told Bruce Arthur of The Star that the team was "confident" it would land him.

New York eventually settled on Mills as president and Scott Perry as its general manager.

The Washington Wizards also attempted to steal Ujiri from the Raptors this past offseason but were rebuffed as the 49-year-old recommitted himself to Toronto.

"For me it's always been about Toronto," he said in June, per TSN. "I love it here. My family loves it here. My wife loves it here, which is important. My kids are Canadian. I want to win more. ... In my mind, I'm here."

That could make it difficult for the Knicks to change his mind. However, Isola noted Ujiri could "put the Knicks in play for Giannis Antetokounmpo."

After failing to land any of the biggest names on the free-agent market this past offseason, Dolan might do whatever it takes to get an executive who can produce better results going forward.