When news broke on Friday that the Raptors had made Masai Ujiri a lucrative offer to take over as the team’s General Manager, most reports indicated that Ujiri would take a couple of days to mull the offer over before ultimately making his decision.
Well assuming that Saturday and Sunday served as those couple of necessary days for Ujiri, we should be hearing something one way or another at some point today.
If you remember on Friday, I stated that whether or not the Nuggets granted Toronto permission to negotiate was the only real hurdle I saw to clear before landing Ujiri, and that once that hurdle was cleared, I was pretty confident in the fact that all we were waiting for was official word.
Now, however, my confidence has been tempered. At the time, reports of a $3 million per year offer were being thrown around (way too much money for Ujiri to turn down and too much for the notoriously frugal Kroenkes to come close to matching). Another recent report however, via Doug Smith, pegs Tim Leiweke and MLSE’s offer at closer to $1.5 million per year, while Michael Grange reported on Monday that the offer was for four years and about $9 million (an average of $2.25 million per year).
That’s obviously not chump change, but there’s a big difference between a $3 million offer and a $1.5 million offer for a guy who reportedly makes roughly $500,000 per year right now. It also means that there’s a better chance the Nuggets can make a competitive counter-offer.
In addition, while Friday night’s report from Adrian Wojnarowski stated that the Kroenke family “doesn’t appear moved to make a competitive bid to hold onto (Ujiri)” and that “Denver ownership ‘seems to be moving on’,” an ominous tweet from Grange on Sunday night stated that Denver is “making themselves heard, according to sources.”
As we await Ujiri’s big decision, we’re all admittedly probably reading way too much into every report, tweet and quote out there. But given how things have usually played out for Raptors fans, it’s perfectly understandable that many are likely losing confidence in the situation with each passing hour.
Masai Ujiri was already another “one that got away” once before. I don’t even want to imagine the buzz kill and negativity that would resurface among fans and media alike if the Raptors fail in their attempt to bring Ujiri back to Toronto after many fans seemed ready to believe that they had this thing in the bag.
Here’s hoping that today is not another of false hope and disappointment.