The champagne isn’t dry on the Raptors’ NBA title and the Wizards are preparing to offer Toronto president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri a massive deal that could pay him close to $10 million a year with an opportunity for an ownership stake in the team, ESPN reported late Thursday, citing unidentified league sources.
ESPN Sources: The Washington Wizards are preparing to make a prolific offer to Toronto’s championship architect Masai Ujiri — as much as $10M annually — to run its basketball operations. https://t.co/KQf18YUkLN
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 14, 2019
With the NBA Finals wrapped up and the Raptors bringing home the first championship in franchise history, the Wizards are expected to reach out to seek formal permission to meet with Ujiri, 48, and, per ESPN, “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.”
There’s a subplot to the Wizards’ pursuit of Ujiri, who has two years remaining on his contract in Toronto: The Raptors presumably early in this offseason will make a final pitch to free agent and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard about staying with them on a long-term deal.
Ujiri’s resume — led by his long-term vision and team-building skill — has pushed him to the top of a Wizards wish list in a search that stalled after Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly rejected a Washington offer on May 20.
Interestingly, Ujiri is credited for building the Nuggets into a contender as Denver’s GM before departing for the Raptors in 2013.
The Wizards also have interviewed former Hawks and Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry and Thunder executive Troy Weaver, ESPN’s league sources said.