Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is considered one of the best executives in basketball. He’s so highly-regarded, in fact, that the Washington Wizards are reportedly slated to push all their chips to the center of the table with the hopes of stealing him away from the NBA champions.
In the moments following the Raptors knocking off the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Game 6 of the NBA Finals en route to the first championship in franchise history, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN dropped a report saying the Wizards plan on going all-out to get Ujiri to run their basketball operations. But it would not just include that: Wojnarowski brings word that Wizards owner Ted Leonsis plans on sweetening the pot beyond a potential $10 million annual payday.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is expected to reach out to Toronto ownership soon to request formal permission to meet with Ujiri and offer a staggering financial package that would include running the Wizards basketball operations and, perhaps, taking on a larger leadership role in the Monumental Sports and Entertainment company that oversees the Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, league sources said.
It would be a bold move by the Wizards, which have been looking for someone to run their basketball operations ever since they finally parted ways with Ernie Grunfeld earlier this year. Ujiri would be a home run, the kind of candidate whose chops running a basketball team have been well-established between his time in Denver and Toronto.
Of course, the question remains if Ujiri would want to leave the newly-crowned champions for a Wizards team that missed the playoffs this past season and appears to be trending in a different direction than the Raptor. But there’s no harm in going for broke for an executive of his caliber, and apparently, the Wizards plan to do just that.