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Masai Ujiri promoted Nick Nurse to coach and took a big risk by trading for Kawhi Leonard on a one-year contract. The result was an NBA championship for the Toronto Raptors and perhaps Executive of the Year honors for Ujiri.
Now, Ujiri has apparently become as hot of a commodity as some of the players in free agency. Difference is, Ujiri is not a free agent.
But according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, that won’t keep the Washington Wizards from trying to pry away Ujiri from the Raptors. The Wizards are seeking a new head of basketball operations, and have been for about three months. They are prepared, according to both Wojnarowski and The Athletic, an offer to make Ujiri the highest-paid basketball executive in NBA history.
Wojnarowski reported the offer could be surpass $10 million annually. The Athletic hears it could be in the six-year, $60 million range.
Either way, it’s a major contract and Ujiri may have something to think about after taking some time celebrate the Raptors’ run to the title.
“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,” Wojnarowski reported.
Ujiri is under contract with the Raptors for the next two seasons. Should the Wizards be able to pry him away, they would likely owe the Raptors some compensation.
Ujiri was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2013 while leading the Nuggets. He is undoubtedly up for the award again this year.
The Wizards are coming off a 32-50 season and own the No. 9 overall pick in the June 20 draft.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry and current Oklahoma City Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver have also interviewed for the Wizards opening. Interim GM Tommy Sheppard is currently leading the basketball operations department.