Raptors prepared to triple Masai Ujiri’s salary

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The Raptors’ pursuit of Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri is kicking into high gear. Toronto received permission to speak with Ujiri, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke is aggressively pursuing Ujiri to become the Raptors’ general manager and plans to present an offer that will pay him nearly $3 million annually over the course of a multiyear contract, league sources said.

Ujiri’s contract with the Nuggets expires on June 30 and it’s possible an agreement can be struck that will allow him to leave sooner.

Ujiri is one of the NBA’s lowest-paid general managers, making below $1 million a year.

The NBA Draft is June 27, so for this to make sense, Ujiri would have to leave well before his contract expires. If the Nuggets are allowing Ujiri to speak with Toronto, it sounds like they’re amenable to working something out. And if the Raptors are will to give Ujiri $3 million per year, it sounds like they’d be willing to pay Denver a penalty – either directly or via Ujiri – for Ujiri breaking his contract.

If the Raptors can clear all the hurdles, this would be a major coup. Ujiri, the reigning Execute of the Year, successfully navigated the Carmelo Anthony trade and turned the Nuggets into a deep, exciting team. The Raptors’ roster and cap situation needs plenty of work, but Ujiri is the best candidate to fix those issues.