Masai Ujiri Says He Hasn't Had Discussions with Raptors over Contract Extension

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2020

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is presented his NBA coach of the year award by team president Masai Ujiri before of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri told reporters Thursday he hasn't held any talks over a potential contract extension despite a report to the contrary.

Ujiri said "it's been a raw time" and that he wouldn't hold any negotiations in public. Those comments came on the heels of a tweet from the New York TimesMarc Stein, who reported Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster were nearing new deals in Toronto. 

The Raptors announced Tuesday they signed head coach Nick Nurse to a new pact. Stein reported that "the strong rumble in the bubble was that Toronto was closing in" on contracts with Ujiri and Webster.

Ujiri took over as Toronto's general manager in 2013, with Webster following him into the front office shortly after. When Jeff Weltman left for the Orlando Magic in 2017, Webster assumed the role of general manager.

Ujiri and Webster's stock has soared following the Raptors' championship run last season.

Some have wondered whether Ujiri in particular might relish a new challenge. The New York Knicks have been long-term admirers, but that speculation fizzled when the franchise brought in Leon Rose as its new president in March.

Webster would have plenty of suitors were he to leave Toronto as well.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in April the Chicago Bulls wanted to interview Webster for its top executive opening. NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson followed up to add the Bulls were unlikely to get an interview, and the team ultimately poached Arturas Karnisovas from the Denver Nuggets.

Sorting out the futures of Ujiri and Webster is important ahead of what could be a big offseason for the Raptors.

Many of Toronto's key players are poised to be free agents in 2021, which clears the deck for a run at Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Front-office stability—and retaining the architects of a title team—would be a selling point for Antetokounmpo in the event he seriously considers leaving Milwaukee.