Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has a long list of admirers in the NBA.
It appears the latest club on that list making plans to try to pry the executive away from Toronto is the New York Knicks.
Knicks reporter Frank Isola of The Athletic wrote on Monday that, “According to several people familiar with the Knicks thinking, [Knicks owner James] Dolan is plotting to take another run at Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri.”
According to Isola, “Several NBA executives and scouts in town for last week’s college basketball doubleheader at the Garden were linking Ujiri to the Knicks, so the story is making the rounds in NBA circles.”
Dolan has said recently that he would allow the current leadership group of Knicks president Steve Mills, general manager Scott Perry and head coach David Fizdale the full season to see how things play out in what is already looking like another disastrous season after a series of free agency failures but Isola noted that, “things change quickly in Dolan’s world.”
In addition to his proven track record of building championship-calibre teams, part of outside clubs’ interest in Ujiri is also his connection to the league’s brightest young stars — most notably, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is scheduled to be a free agent in 2021.
This isn’t the first time another club has thought about trying to hire Ujiri away from the Raptors. The team hadn’t even popped open the celebratory champagne to mark the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship in June before a report surfaced of the Wizards’ intentions to prepare a “prolific offer” to woo him to Washington.
Ujiri made it clear in the days and weeks after that report that his desire is to remain with the Raptors and that his future is in Toronto.