Raptors president Masai Ujiri: I'm staying with Toronto

By Arthur Weinstein 26 June 2019 175
Raptors president Masai Ujiri: I'm staying with Toronto

Raptors president Masai Ujiri said Tuesday he has no intention of leaving the team.

Ujiri told reporters at a season-ending media conference he's happy in Toronto.

“For me it's always been about Toronto,” Ujiri said. “I love it here. My family loves it here. My wife loves it here, which is important. My kids are Canadian. I want to win more ... In my mind, I'm here."

After guiding the Raptors to their first championship in the NBA Finals earlier this month, Ujiri is a hot property around the league. The Wizards were reportedly ready to offer Ujiri a deal including an ownership stake (the team denied the report).

Ujiri and the Raptors face a major challenge in the offseason, with the pending free agency of two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who has reportedly turned town his $21.3 million option for next season. However, Yahoo Sports reported Sunday that the star forward is "seriously considering re-signing" with Toronto. The Raptors have a big advantage in negotiations as they are the only team able to offer Leonard a "supermax" deal of five years and $190 million, which is about $15 million more than he could get anywhere else.

Ujiri, who became Toronto's general manager in 2013, said he's met with Leonard and called the meetings "positive," but didn't divulge any details.

“We’re really approaching it like we want to bring everyone back,” Ujiri said, regarding Leonard and the Raptors roster.

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