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Masai Ujiri staying with Raptors

Raptors president Masai Ujiri

TORONTO, ON- OCTOBER 22 - Raptors president Masai Ujiri with his ring as the Toronto Raptors open the season against the New Orleans Pelicans at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. October 22, 2019. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Star via Getty Images

Raptors president Masai Ujiri had his fingerprints all over Toronto’s surprising selection of Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 pick in last week’s draft.

That’s just the start of Ujiri guiding the Raptors into their post-Kyle Lowry era.

Ujiri – whose expiring contract sparked uncertainty throughout the season – will, as increasingly expected, re-up with Toronto.

Ujiri, via the Raptors:

“I love being the leader of the Toronto Raptors, and I am here to stay.”

Ujiri has done a great job running the Raptors, culminating in their 2019 championship. Ujiri’s ambitious overhaul proved brilliant.

“Let me tell you something, guys: everybody has forgotten what happened two years ago,” Ujiri said after Toronto’s season ended in May. “OK, yes, we won. But nobody cares anymore, OK? We want to win another one.”

The Raptors proved they didn’t care about the play-in tournament, and Ujiri said they don’t care about even making the playoffs. His brashness is a feature.

The challenge will be difficult. Though Toronto has several good/intriguing players – Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Barnes – none is a certain star. This group is too good to tank, either.

But Ujiri – who won Executive of the Year in 2013 (with the Nuggets) and should have won in 2019 – is arguably the NBA’s best lead executive. If anyone will accomplish such a bold goal, it’s him.