Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now'

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Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#1 » by RealGM Wiretap » Thu Sep 9, 2021 7:22 pm

The Toronto Raptors won the 2019 championship but lost Kawhi Leonard that offseason and now have lost Kyle Lowry, which has sent them to a bit of a franchise reset.


Toronto's now core includes a pair of 27-year-olds in Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, a 24-year-old in OG Anunoby and 20-year-old Scottie Barnes.


"We are not a team of 'now,'" Ujiri said. "There are going to be growing pains, trust me, you know like, sometimes it's gonna be tough to watch but we know what's coming, we know we're excited about the young talent. They are excited to play - to see how, OG [Anunoby], Pascal [Siakam], Fred, are going to evolve as leaders - as elite players.


"And then the young guys, [Scottie] Barnes, Malachi [Flynn], Dalano [Banton]. In sports, people think 'now,' you know? And this is where we have to be patient and let it grow."


Ujiri also talked about his decision to remain with the Raptors.


"Toronto has become home for me, for my family. There's something about this space of Toronto, of Canada, that really is special. It gives me a good platform to speak, to represent and it's a unique space."

Via Gilbert McGregor/NBA.com

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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#2 » by tigerae » Thu Sep 9, 2021 7:55 pm

Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#3 » by Years90Suns » Thu Sep 9, 2021 8:00 pm

tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.



Which is like centuries ago, right?

People tend to be disrespectful whenever they have the chance to.

Could you please explain how you would have done the decisions to make the Raptors a better team NOW?

Would you have prefer to rush the reconstruction?

Are you aware how difficult it is for the Raptors to attract stars due to the fact that it is really a foreign franchise and the weather is ridicolous there? Of course, as ridicolous as it is en Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota and many other cities in that big area called North East and Central North US.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#4 » by imDatknicksTape » Thu Sep 9, 2021 8:43 pm

This guy is as delusional as Raps fans

"...OG [Anunoby], Pascal [Siakam], Fred, are going to evolve as leaders - as elite players."

LOL
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#5 » by Raptors Realtor » Thu Sep 9, 2021 9:15 pm

imDatknicksTape wrote:This guy is as delusional as Raps fans

"...OG [Anunoby], Pascal [Siakam], Fred, are going to evolve as leaders - as elite players."

LOL


Says a Knicks fan pffft
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#6 » by donemilio21 » Thu Sep 9, 2021 9:59 pm

tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.

that and they certainly locked themselves to not have any cap space until summer of 2024. I could see them making a play on Jokic in 2023, but that would require them to trade one of VanVleet or Siakam for sure.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#7 » by 720 » Thu Sep 9, 2021 10:35 pm

donemilio21 wrote:
tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.

that and they certainly locked themselves to not have any cap space until summer of 2024. I could see them making a play on Jokic in 2023, but that would require them to trade one of VanVleet or Siakam for sure.

It's obvious we're not getting superstar free agents. We're going to rely on the draft and internal development which we're elite at. Or like you suggested and make trades in the future.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#8 » by RapsFan2000 » Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:46 am

imDatknicksTape wrote:This guy is as delusional as Raps fans

"...OG [Anunoby], Pascal [Siakam], Fred, are going to evolve as leaders - as elite players."

LOL


I mean, you're a Knicks fan. You would love to have FVV, Siakam and OG on your team. Lol, Siakam can definitely become elite along with the other 2. You clearly don't watch the games so why hate? Elite doesn't have to mean a Superstar like LBJ. It can be elite at one thing. OG has become an amazing perimeter defender and a 3pt shooter. FVV will now take command of the PG duties and can elevate his game on what he learned from Lowry. If Siakam can grow more, get his shooting better from 3 and consistent in the playoffs, they are elite in their own way. Stop hating. Enjoy Julius Randle lol
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#9 » by RapsFan2000 » Fri Sep 10, 2021 12:48 am

tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.


You're clearly a Laker fan only, but the Raptors were very close in reaching the ECF against the Celtics after Kawhi left. Did you watch? If the Raps faced off with Miami, they had a chance to even make the finals.. of course wouldn't beat a healthy LA team with LBJ/AD who eventually won the Disneyland Trophy. The Raps are officially now, in rebuild mode with Lowry being gone. Get your facts straight. We'll barely be a playoff team this year, maybe 7-9th with a play in but dw, we'll see you soon.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#10 » by tigerae » Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:14 am

RapsFan2000 wrote:
tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.


You're clearly a Laker fan only, but the Raptors were very close in reaching the ECF against the Celtics after Kawhi left. Did you watch? If the Raps faced off with Miami, they had a chance to even make the finals.. of course wouldn't beat a healthy LA team with LBJ/AD who eventually won the Disneyland Trophy. The Raps are officially now, in rebuild mode with Lowry being gone. Get your facts straight. We'll barely be a playoff team this year, maybe 7-9th with a play in but dw, we'll see you soon.
I like both the Lakers and Clippers, it's rare here in LA but I do. Also, I'm a fan of the game, too. Became less of a die-hard fan and more of a fan of the game over the years.

As for watching, I did watch and as you said, they had no chance of actually winning the whole thing. Disney Trophy or whatever you wanna call it, the Raptors really weren't going to get there. Also, close to something and actually getting somewhere are two different things. The Clippers almost beat the Warriors without a real star a couple years back but doesn't mean anything. Lowry showed he choked in big pressure situations in the past as well so there was that, too.

I do like the Raptors and they do have some talent that can become all stars down the line. Masai also took a chance with Kawhi and it paid big time, but you never tell your franchise player (DeRozan at the time) that you have no intention of trading him only to trade him days later. That is my biggest issue with him and why I feel big name free agents won't give Toronto a chance that they should give them while he is there.

Honesty would have been the best play there. We are looking to make some changes to get better. We would love for you to be with us, but at this time there is a lot of unknown. Or something like that.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#11 » by slicedbread2 » Fri Sep 10, 2021 4:00 am

tigerae wrote:
RapsFan2000 wrote:
tigerae wrote:Captain Obvious type statement here. The Raptors haven't been a "now" team since Kawhi left.

I also don't know how many big name free agents will be willing to go to Toronto while Masai is there based on how he handled DeRozan.


You're clearly a Laker fan only, but the Raptors were very close in reaching the ECF against the Celtics after Kawhi left. Did you watch? If the Raps faced off with Miami, they had a chance to even make the finals.. of course wouldn't beat a healthy LA team with LBJ/AD who eventually won the Disneyland Trophy. The Raps are officially now, in rebuild mode with Lowry being gone. Get your facts straight. We'll barely be a playoff team this year, maybe 7-9th with a play in but dw, we'll see you soon.
I like both the Lakers and Clippers, it's rare here in LA but I do. Also, I'm a fan of the game, too. Became less of a die-hard fan and more of a fan of the game over the years.

As for watching, I did watch and as you said, they had no chance of actually winning the whole thing. Disney Trophy or whatever you wanna call it, the Raptors really weren't going to get there. Also, close to something and actually getting somewhere are two different things. The Clippers almost beat the Warriors without a real star a couple years back but doesn't mean anything. Lowry showed he choked in big pressure situations in the past as well so there was that, too.

I do like the Raptors and they do have some talent that can become all stars down the line. Masai also took a chance with Kawhi and it paid big time, but you never tell your franchise player (DeRozan at the time) that you have no intention of trading him only to trade him days later. That is my biggest issue with him and why I feel big name free agents won't give Toronto a chance that they should give them while he is there.

Honesty would have been the best play there. We are looking to make some changes to get better. We would love for you to be with us, but at this time there is a lot of unknown. Or something like that.


I'll play devil's advocate with Masai regarding the Derozan situation. After the "Lebronto" series, Masai had made it clear that he'd do whatever it'd take to make this team better even if it meant jettisoning established players in order to have a better shot at winning the title. When Dwayne Casey was canned, that was a sign of things to come. The other death knells came in the following factors:

1) Game 3 of the Lebronto series. Raptors came back and ultimately got broken by LBJ's bank shot. Sick one not gonna lie. During the 4th quarter, the following players were on the floor: Lowry, Vanvleet, OG, Siakam, Ibaka, Powell and Miles. Derozan was on the bench the entire time along with Jonas. That was a huge epiphany for many Raptors fans along with Masai that maybe Derozan needs to go. Game 4 saw him getting ejected as the Raps were getting smoked.
2) His contract. Yes the Kawhi deal was a huge risk, but they got Danny Green in the deal too which worked out fabulously. There was concern about Kawhi not willing to report, but he had no choice b/c he knew that if he pulled the stunt he did in SA on Toronto, the optics would be horrible and the NBA+NBPA would get involved due to him not honouring his contract. Even if the Raps hadn't won the title and Kawhi left, the Raptors saved $55.5M in money that would've went to Derozan and his noted playoff failures(to his credit he's became better in San Antonio as a passer and better shot selection).

Yes it was rough seeing Derozan go and it was tough, but when a dude has 5 years to show what he can do in the playoffs and the team he led got swept in the 1st round by Washington in 2015 and then proceeded to get swept 2 years in a row to LBJ it's a bad look and Masai knew that he couldn't go back to the same cast and that changes had to be made or he'd be the one looking for a new job.

As far as free agents go, the Raptors have never been a hot spot for that and it's usually through drafting+development or trades. I do not expect much from the Raps this year and if they can get lucky like they did last year and get a top 5 pick in the draft and select BPA, I'd be thrilled. P.S. I'm annoyed the NBA schedule has Kyle Lowry coming back in February to Toronto when December would've been ideal. That dude gave it his all here and he'll have his number retired one day.
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Re: Masai Ujiri: Raptors Not A Team Of 'Now' 

Post#12 » by Tamimi » Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:07 pm

Raptors "not a team of now." What a revelation. :tooth

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