The Toronto Raptors have made it clear they're interested in Masai Ujiri -- but the current Denver Nuggets GM hasn't yet decided on whether he'll accept a more lucrative offer with a less viable team.
Ujiri won the NBA's executive of the year honors in 2012-13, but he's reportedly the lowest-paid general manager in the league, earning just $500,000 with Denver. The Raptors, where he began his front office career, have reportedly offered him about $2.25 million per year -- but Ujiri isn't certain to take the gig. From Michael Grange of SportsNet Canada:
A source familiar with the situation said that rather than the deal being close it was "far from it" with Ujiri now carefully working through competing opportunities, with the Nuggets having made a determined offer to keep him Denver.
"There has been an offer made, but there’s a little bit of a cycle to go through here," said another league source.
Grange's report indicates the Nuggets will be competitive in attempts to compete for Ujiri after he remodeled the club, shaping its roster into the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference just three years after trading away franchise cornerstone Carmelo Anthony. The parts Ujiri picked up in that trade -- plus the acquisition of Andre Iguodala for spare parts, making the Nuggets the only team to immediately benefit from the four-way Dwight Howard trade -- shaped the Nuggets into a young, up-tempo team with the potential for success in the near future.
Meanwhile, the Raptors don't have much going for them after their fifth straight season missing the playoffs. The team now has a much-maligned star in Rudy Gay, and just bumped down Brian Colangelo -- a two-time executive of the year winner himself, and once Ujiri's mentor -- from general manager to a non-basketball position after his bold plans for the franchise fizzled. Ujiri is their primary choice to replace him, but it's his decision rather than theirs.