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After weeks of virtually nothing happening, the Bryan Colangelo saga and ensuing search for a possible replacement has really ramped up this long weekend. With today being the deadline for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to make a decision on Colangelo, we seem to be reaching a climax…

(My favourite part of this is Woj referring to MLSE as “The” MLSE like The Iron Sheik would)

The obvious questions we all have would revolve around just what exactly Colangelo’s new “significant” business role within the organization would be and what kind of terms he would be under. Is Leiweke looking to sign Colangelo to an extension to put him on the corporate side, or is this merely an example of MLSE just finding a job that Colangelo can fill on the option year and final year of his contract before he eventually moves on?

In addition, even if Colangelo were to be offered a high paying job on the business side of the Raptors, would that really satisfy him? No matter what you think of B.C., he’s a super competitive guy who enjoys putting his stamp on basketball teams, and whether it’s Ujiri or someone else who comes in to replace him as General Manager in Toronto, note that Wojnarowski mentions that person having “full control.”

On to Ujiri. We know from previous Wojnarowski reports that his contract in Denver expires this summer and that he’s currently one of the lower paid GM’s in the NBA. But just how major would that “major financial offer” from the Raptors have to be to pry him away from a young Nuggets team that he has quickly built into a quasi-contender out West? The Raps have some nice young pieces and building blocks and they can offer the global metropolis of Toronto (no offence, Denver), but Ujiri would be taking a significant step back in terms of how immediately competitive his team is.

And while many assume that MLSE can make a financial offer that would blow any executive away, keep in mind that Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, who is a big supporter of Ujiri, is worth an estimated $5 billion as one of the 100 richest people in the States (according to Forbes). Can MLSE make Ujiri a mind blowing offer? Of course, and they probably will. But just don’t assume that Kroenke won’t be right there to make an incredibly lucrative offer of his own.

Lastly, there are still questions to be answered about the status of Ed Stefanski, who has one year left on his contract, Dwane Casey, who also has one year remaining on his deal, and the rest of the coaching staff, who are all on contracts reportedly set to expire.

We should finally begin to have those questions answered sooner rather than later, and we’ll no doubt have more questions to ask as this process moves on. For now, the gist of it is that the Raptors are trying to replace Bryan Colangelo with Masai Ujiri, and that’s quite alright with me.

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UPDATE: Michael Grange reports that Colangelo will be officially relieved of his duties on Tuesday morning (though he also confirms reports that Bryan will still likely have a job with MLSE) and that the Raptors still haven’t been given permission to talk to Ujiri.

Comments (27)

  1. This is still MLSE…..when have they ever offered a “mind blowing offer” to any front office position. MLSE has and will always be content with mediocrity. As long as fans fill the arena and they turn a corporate profit they don’t care that much of the product on the field. Take a look at their other sports franchises for perfect examples.

    • Actually, making big money offers to executives is something MLSE is known for. They made Colangelo and Burke two of the higher paid execs in sports to land them.

      Not saying they are a model sports organization, but they have and will shell out cash to land people they “think” can bring teams success

    • MLSE loves the overpay and will do it any way possible. In this instance it might actually make (dollas &) sense

  2. Has there been any rumour/speculation as to which direction the team is going to take with a new GM, regardless of who it is? Rebuild or keep going with the current core?

    I really hope that they decide to blow it up to try and land a high pick next year.

    • What happens if they blow it up and don’t land one of the prized picks next year………

      • What happens when they try and go all in for a playoff spot, trade their first round pick, lose all of their cap flexibility, and still end up back in the draft lottery……..

        …Oh wait, that happened.

  3. I hope this story is untrue. Why they would choose to retain a GM who helped to make Raptors game broadcasts abysmal in ratings is beyond me.

    I suppose the reason for keeping Colangelo around may lie in his ability to try and market crap as gold, and this is a skill that is admired by some. Maybe MLSE views Colangelo as sport’s equivalent of Piero Manzoni and such a cerebral cultivator of crap needs to be kept close at all costs, but only for the purpose that perhaps one day, some day, they might actually be able to understand him.

    Please, let this story be wrong.

  4. Typical MLSE, not decisive enough to completely cut ties with Colangelo and not creative enough to pursue someone other than the guy they let walk to Denver a couple of years ago.

    Very disappointing news.

    • That about sums it up.

    • The thing that worries me is BC still sticking his nose in basketball ops. He knows the roster well and the landscape around the league and I could see uriji counselling him. Also, does ujiri have the balls to trade or amnesty BC’s golden boys (DD, ross, and bargs) while BC is still with the organization? Bargs, probably, but DD and ross, doubt it. Even if its for the best interest of the team, it would be a slap in the face of BC. Better just to get rid of him altogether.

    • Ujiri is a bright young basketball executive that most of us have been calling another one that got away. I don’t understand the negativity here surrounding the pursuit of him.

      • I know what you mean Joseph.

        Im confused as to why people are so upset about any aspect of this situation.

      • I’ll be happy if they sign him, however why would Denver let that happen. So the chances of him jumping ship to the Raptors are slim in my opinion. Doesn’t his contract expire in June with Denver. If he stays with Denver then is this whole GM search gonna drag out?

      • Norhing against ujiri. He seems like a shrewd exec who has made some smart trades(ie carmelo). But i cant imagine him going in a different direction than bc does if the latter is still in the organization.

      • Joseph, as boring as a hire it would be (“Durrr, let’s go hire the guy who found success elsewhere who once worked for us and worked directly under the GM we are basically firing….derrr”) even considering his success in Denver, the problem I would have wouldn’t be with Ujiri, it would be with the situation he would be working under.

        As several others have pointed out, to think that BC would have no influence on a guy who he basically paved the way for to become a GM and a guy who may feel he owes BC a lot is slightly foolish unless BC will be in a Brian Burke type role and will move on when he finds another basketball related front office job. Then again, Burke was still under contract for another couple of years when he was fired and the team has no obligation to Colangelo for next season. I don’t know what it will take to get rid of this guy at this point.

        • It’s hard to believe the organization would put Ujiri in any sort of awkward, micro-managed situation in which Colangelo is breathing down his neck. It is Ujiri, after all, who won Executive of the Year more recently between these two. And if they’re making such a significant financial commitment to Ujiri, it wouldn’t make sense to continue to keep around the old GM, the man who who built the very same flawed roster you brought in a new man to fix. Colangelo may have helped Ujiri get to where he is, but I think from a basketball operations standpoint it’d be clear who would have the reigns.

          What I hope is that by moving BC to a “corporate role,” the Raptors’ are admitting they stuck with him for too long and that they’re finally ready to fully move on (sad that it took new ownership to come to that conclusion). I do believe MLSE is handling this in the same way they did the Burke situation — not outright firing him, but moving him to a position in which he has little-to-no say in basketball ops. I’m sure there’s a reason for this another reader can shed light on (legal?).

  5. This is pretty stupid sounding, but the team has been crap for years so even the chance of moving to non-crap is nice.

  6. Love the way this is being handeled. I don’t think anyone of us ever hated Bryan or thought he wasn’t a bright, slick , cool guy . We just simply didn’t think he knew shit about Basketball. Winning.

  7. I have a feeling Colangelo will take Anselmi’s job as COO – Colangelo has proven he knows how to run an organization from a business standpoint. Anselmi had a chance but does not seem to have proven himself or else they would have put him into Leiweke’s job as President.

    Despite what some might say, Colangelo has been loyal to MLSE so this will be a good way to keep him while putting in the right guy to make the basketball decisions…

    I’m excited about the way this Is playing out… As long as the new GM is willing to make bold moves (like considering trading DeRozan) …

  8. Whoever takes the job, has their work cut out for them. No picks this year, and possibly no second rounders til 2017. Not to mention we gave up one of our young low cost role players(Ed Davis) in a trade for one of the highest paid players in the league, who could walk in two years, isn’t worth his salary and further hinders their cap flexibility in the mean time. They should have admitted they made a mistake and not renew BC’s contract last time it was up. Love the team, but they need someone clever to make this team competitive. But even competitive may only get them to a 6-8th seed.
    I’m never one for a team tanking in any sport, but no teams success, from any sport, can totally change so dramatically from adding one player, than a basketball team. It would be sweet to have Wiggins in Canada, but some how, I don’t see it happening. Hope I’m wrong.

  9. Finally. This should have happened a while back before Colangelo could ruin the team for future years. Glad Leiweke was able to do this before Colangelo could do even more damage to the team’s long-term future.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/never-an-idea/

  10. So here’s a question: what other teams would be interested in hiring Bryan Colangelo sometime between now and next summer? You’d figure with all the bad teams out there that someone would be willing to give it a try.

  11. I…I say we send Bryan over to the snack bar!

  12. Typical “more money than brains” decision. It’s not creativity that they lack, it’s vision. They think that they can throw money at problems to solve them. Sadly methinks we are in for more train wreck years.

    Let BC go. If you like him, golf with him.

  13. Why are they keeping this toxic asshole around? Fuck, I hate this worthless piece of self-aggrandizing shit.

    The MLSE is powerful. They have money. Couldn’t they just arrange a car accident or a plane crash?

    Hell, I’d run the motherfucker down for free.

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