Masai Ujiri, the National Basketball Association’s Executive of the Year, is returning to the Toronto Raptors as general manager after three seasons with the Denver Nuggets.
Ujiri, who was the Nuggets’ executive vice president of basketball operations, replaces Bryan Colangelo, now the Raptors’ president.
During his time with the Nuggets, the team won a franchise-record 57 games and recorded an NBA-best 38-3 record at home this past season.
“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 Tim Leiweke, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.
Ujiri was employed by the Raptors for three seasons starting in 2007 when he was director of global scouting. The next year, he was promoted to assistant general manager.
“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,” Ujiri said. “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.”
Denver President Josh Kroenke said a search for Ujiri’s replacement will begin immediately.
“I appreciate everything Masai has done since re-joining the Nuggets in 2010,” Kroenke said. “He and I have spent countless hours working together to tackle some of the toughest challenges in franchise history.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com