Two seasons after winning their first NBA Championship, the Toronto Raptors missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013 this year. It was a bit of a blow considering that they were seen as one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams when the season began. Now, the team is looking to rebound next NBA season and one of the first things they’d like to take care of is bringing back Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Raptors or lives in Toronto knows exactly what kind of impact Ujiri has brought to the team. Before he arrived in 2013, the Raptors had never seen any postseason success. No matter who was on the roster, they just couldn’t take it to the next level. However, Ujiri had a plan and wanted to build a culture that the Raptors and their fans could be proud of.
After Masai Ujiri joined the team, the Raptors qualified for the playoffs in seven straight seasons, which includes when they won they defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2019-20 NBA Finals. It’s needless to say that Ujiri is a major part of the Raptors’ image today and his potential leaving would be a tough blow to overcome.
Fortunately, things are looking good for the Raptors and their fans as oddsmakers are projecting that he’ll remain as the team’s president of basketball operations.
What NBA Team Will Masai Ujiri Sign His Next Contract With?
Odds via Bovada as of Friday, May 21
- Toronto Raptors (-220)
- Any other NBA team (+155)
At -220 odds, it’s looking like Masai Ujiri is going to stick around with the Raptors for a little while longer. On one hand, this really shouldn’t be surprising. It’s clear that the city of Toronto loves him and the feeling is certainly mutual. Ujiri is heavily involved in the community, having been honored multiple times for his charitable work. He’s also raised his children in Canada and holds a Canadian passport himself. When it comes to personal reasons, there isn’t a shortage of them to persuade the Raptors president into sticking around.
On the other hand, Masai Ujiri is a professional. He came to the Raptors because he wanted to turn them into a winner, which he certainly accomplished. However, it’s tough to imagine seeing him leave town on a losing note. That just isn’t who he is. The Raptors that the basketball world saw last season are not who Ujiri envisioned them being. Considering how they have a talented core of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry (assuming he returns), there’s no reason to believe that the Raptors can’t bounce back next season.
Could Ujiri Leave?
In the end, it’s always possible that Masai Ujiri could end up elsewhere (+155). While it could certainly happen one day, it likely won’t be until the Raptors look better than they did in 2021. Whether that means he’ll sign a one- or five-year contract remains to be seen. However, Raptors fans should just feel optimistic that the odds are in their favor and that Ujiri has such a strong bond with the city of Toronto and its basketball team.
After all, Ujiri arrived in Toronto with a plan and you have to believe that he has one for exiting as well.