Getting a gift basket of Primo Pasta for Andrea Bargnani and the $23M he was owed over the next two seasons would have been received with grand celebration, let alone three-point specialist Steve Novak and the three draft picks he was able to extract from the Knicks for the highly scrutinized former No. 1 pick after just a few weeks on the job.
Armed with a five-year contract, Ujiri has a patient and principled vision as he strives to turn the Raptors into a contender, something Bryan Colangelo couldn't do, the man under whom he served as an assistant GM for two years in Toronto before leaving to run the Nuggets' basketball operations.
Too often during Colangelo's tenure he opted for the quick fix. He gave Jason Kapono a four-year contract worth over $20M; traded T.J. Ford and the draft rights to the 17th overall pick in 2008 and future all-star Roy Hibbert to Indiana for an aging and injured Jermaine O'Neal; signed Hedo Turkoglu as a free agent at the absolute peak of his value after Orlando's run to the Finals in 2009, threw a three-year, $36M deal at a 38-year-old Steve Nash, and traded for high volume scoring Rudy Gay midway through last season to make a run at the 8-seed in a last-ditch effort to save his job.Read More »from Masai Ujiri has complete control of Toronto Raptors’ present and future