Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment part-owner and chairman Larry Tanenbaum says that he is not worried about other teams attempting to poach Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, and that the brain behind the club’s 2019 NBA championship is “here to stay,” according to Postmedia’s Michael Traikos.
Tanenbaum reportedly told Traikos that there’s no reason to believe the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year won’t remain in Toronto once his contract expires after the 2020-21 season.
“We hope so,” said Tanenbaum, per Traikos, at the NHL’s Board of Governors’ meeting in Pebble Beach, Calif., earlier this week. “We haven’t talked (about an extension) at this point in time, but if you ask him, his intentions are pretty clear.”
Tanenbaum added that it isn’t necessary to offer a contract extension to Ujiri yet.
“Masai has a contract that goes for another two years — this season and next season — so there’s really no need at this point (to re-sign him),” he said.
Recent rumours suggested that New York Knicks owner James Dolan was deadset on prying Ujiri away from the Raptors.
The Washington Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers have also been suitors for his services.
But Tanenbaum appears to be unfazed.
“He is the best,” he said. “But no team can come to talk to him. That’s tampering. And every owner knows that. Masai is here to stay.”