Masai Ujiri considered taking year off from Raptors after contentious contract discussions, per report

Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri signed a brand new deal earlier this 12 months, a lot to the aid of the workforce’s followers. However till now, nobody knew simply how shut Ujiri was to taking a 12 months off as a consequence of contentious contractual discussions. 

A new report released on Monday by the Toronto Star signifies that former Rogers Communications chair Edward Rogers tried to derail plans to re-sign Ujiri, and even made a private name to inform Ujiri that he was not definitely worth the cash he was being provided — someplace round $15 million per 12 months. 

Your complete report is price studying, if solely as a result of Rogers’ plot appears like one thing out of “Succession.” His interactions with Ujiri had been solely a part of the scheme, which additionally concerned the Toronto Blue Jays and sophisticated spin-off corporations. When it comes to the Raptors, although, a very powerful info is that this:

Previous to his run-in over Ujiri, Edward was nonetheless chair of Rogers Communications, which owns a 37.5-per-cent stake of Raptors proprietor MLSE. Rival telecom BCE Inc. owns one other 37.5 per cent and Larry Tanenbaum’s Kilmer Group controls the stability.

After weeks of negotiations that started in mid-July, each MLSE chair Tanenbaum and Bell had been on board with providing Ujiri a sweetened bundle that included incentive pay tied to a future improve in worth of the Raptors.

Tanenbaum and Bell had been able to lock Ujiri down, however, in keeping with two sources near the MLSE board, Edward Rogers was the holdout.

He instructed his companions he felt the compensation was too excessive, and, in keeping with the MLSE sources and a supply near the NBA, Rogers was satisfied the Raptors may very well be managed with out Ujiri’s assist by current normal supervisor Bobby Webster.

The sources mentioned a while after the assembly, Rogers referred to as Ujiri and instructed him he wasn’t definitely worth the cash he was being paid. The NBA supply mentioned the decision left Ujiri feeling so indignant and disrespected by Rogers that he thought of taking a 12 months off as president of the Raptors.

Ujiri was finally satisfied to stay on board by Tanenbaum and different high-ranking executives of MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports activities & Leisure Ltd.), who assured him he can be protected against having to take care of Rogers. Moreover, Rogers didn’t have remaining say over the Raptors’ decision-making course of, which meant Tanenbaum overruled him on the main points of Ujiri’s contract. 

In an announcement to the Star Sunday, Rogers mentioned he has “respect” for Ujiri, however complained about those that had leaked particulars of the occasions. 

“Masai understands higher than anybody that negotiations take a look at either side,” Rogers mentioned. “One of the best offers contain compromise and depart all events feeling like winners. It’s unlucky that sure people proceed to breach confidence by leaking and inappropriately divulging confidential board proceedings. Their motives are clear. I will not be dissuaded from doing what’s proper for Rogers Communications Inc., its shareholders, staff, prospects and different stakeholders.”

There’s an entire lot occurring right here, and this report is an efficient reminder that none of us actually perceive how absurd issues can get behind the scenes. However whereas this clearly is not how they might have wished issues to play out, the Raptors had been finally capable of preserve Ujiri, and that is a very powerful factor for the way forward for the franchise. 

Ujiri pulled off the commerce for Kawhi Leonard, helped the Raptors win their first title in franchise historical past in 2019, and has overseen a franchise-record seven straight playoff appearances. He has confirmed again and again that he is the best man to steer this membership into the longer term. | Masai Ujiri thought of taking 12 months off from Raptors after contentious contract discussions, per report


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