Masai Ujiri

Report: Raptors going after Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri to take over organization


Toronto has until Monday to decide the fate of Bryan Colangelo as GM and the guy steering the Raptors ship — do they pick up his option for next season or release him?

It looks more and more like the new management of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment — which owns the Raptors — wants to go another direction. Which is what they should do. There have been Phil Jackson rumors, but those were always a long shot.

So now they reportedly are turning their eyes to Masai Ujiri, the Nuggets GM, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Masai, the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year, has emerged as the top choice of the search firm – Korn/Ferry International – that’s been charged with finding a successor to Raptors president Bryan Colangelo, league sources said….

Ujiri’s contract as Denver’s general manager expires this summer and he has been in talks with ownership on an extension. Ujiri, 42, has a strong bond with Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke but new MLSE top executive, Tim Leiweke, has expressed a desire to make a serious financial and organizational commitment to an elite executive to turn around the franchise.

If you are asking why he would jump, the answer is money — right now he is one of the lowest paid GMs in the league. Last year Neil Olshey jumped from the Clippers to the Trial Blazers for pretty much the same reason. You’d jump to a different job for a lot more money, too. Welcome to capitalism.

But the Nets came after Ujiri a year ago and he turned them down. He could do that again here to stay where he is comfortable, and maybe the Nuggets will up their offer to him. But it shows that people are targeting Ujiri and that the Raptors are willing to spend big to reshape their front office and eventually roster.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.