The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that the club has signed Masai Ujiri as its General Manager. Ujiri, 42, was recently named the NBA’s Executive of the Year in his capacity as Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations for the Denver Nuggets. He replaces Bryan Colangelo, who is now the Raptors’ President.
In his three seasons in Denver, Ujiri built the Nuggets into a team that won a franchise-record 57 games and delivered an NBA-best 38-3 record at home this past season.
A native of Nigeria, and the first African-born GM in the NBA, Ujiri will report to Tim Leiweke, MLSE’s President and CEO. “We feel very lucky to have Masai in our organization. He is a proven judge of talent and we look for him to be a big part of creating a winning atmosphere, leading us to the playoffs and, ultimately, delivering NBA championships for Toronto,” said Leiweke. “I would also like to publicly thank the Kroenke’s in Denver for being such a class organization that they would allow Masai to pursue his dream. They put him first in all of our discussions.”
Ujiri spent three years with the Raptors after joining the team as director of global scouting in 2007. He was elevated to assistant general manager in 2008. Ujiri is thrilled to return to the franchise that first gave him a front office position. “To come back to the Raptors, to live in such a great city, and work in an organization that has committed all the resources necessary to win championships was a huge factor in the decision,” said Ujiri. “I have already developed a great relationship with Tim Leiweke and I can’t wait to get back to Canada to build a team that is poised to take the next step in the NBA.”
Ujiri will be available to the media in Toronto next week.