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  1. #1
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    Article: SIMMONS: Tanenbaum says contract talks with Masai will begin next week

    Larry Tanenbaum’s long-standing premise — that Masai Ujiri isn’t going anywhere — won’t be dealt with in any way until after this Raptors irregular season ends on Sunday.

    Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., admitted Monday in a rare e-mail exchange that “Masai and I agreed months ago that we would sit down after the season has concluded to address his contract.

    “We are both confident in that approach and Masai has shared that publicly in the past when asked (about it).”

    This is Ujiri’s eighth season running the Raptors and what a run it has been. Seven playoff seasons in a row before this one. The delivery of the championship he promised when first hired, maybe the most unlikely and inexplicable NBA championship in history. And the only Toronto big league title of the past 27 years.

    That alone, in any NBA climate in which executives and coaches are paid at corporate CEO levels, would assure Ujiri of being able to write his own tickets with the Raptors, especially considering MLSE has hardly been shy about paying its top-level employees.

    Really, this should be a fill-in-the-blanks kind of negotiation. How many years? How much money? How much freedom for involvement in other projects?

    What exactly does Ujiri want in his life beyond basketball and beyond this season? Does he want more involvement for his work in Africa? Does he want more time for the social causes he is so believing in? More family time? Is his intrigue with the NBA as passionate as it once was?

    So much of that he has kept to himself, distanced essentially from the local media and even national media this season, and no matter how many times he has been asked about the future, he has never completely given a clear answer.

    Now, within a few weeks, there should be some kind of answer. Ujiri will return to Toronto early next week and, about the same time, he is expected to sit down with Tanenbaum, who may be a minority owner of the Raptors and the Maple Leafs, but is far more influential in the operation of the franchises than his corporate partners, Bell and Rogers.
    Read full article here:
    https://torontosun.com/sports/basket...sion=true&s=09
    “It’s about winning,” Stoudemire said. “You win, you’re going to get on national TV. Simple. In Phoenix, we won — Western Conference finals three, four years, playoffs every year. We won. If you don’t win, nobody really wants to see you.”

  2. #2
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    Sigh...

  3. #3
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    Hey this is a good sign if you ask me. This means theyre not at a stand still in negotiations rather, they are just sitting down to talk about it soon. Which also indicated there is interest from Masai to return, other wise what would there be to negotiate? Im taking this as a positive.

    "Really, this should be a fill-in-the-blanks kind of negotiation. How many years? How much money? How much freedom for involvement in other projects?"

    Last edited by smith&wesson; 05-14-2021 at 03:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for sharing Aman, I hadn't read anything about it until now. nice to have an update.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Hey this is a good sign if you ask me. This means theyre not at a stand still in negotiations rather, they are just sitting down to talk about it soon. Which also indicated there is interest from Masai to return, other wise what would there be to negotiate? Im taking this as a positive.

    "Really, this should be a fill-in-the-blanks kind of negotiation. How many years? How much money? How much freedom for involvement in other projects?"

    Yes and also explains why MU always beats around the bush about it. Dudes a smart negotiator.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Thanks for sharing Aman, I hadn't read anything about it until now. nice to have an update.
    No problem bro. I'm feeling confident about this as well. Here is a quote from Bobby on Masai's contract status via Josh Lewenberg:

    Replying to

    @JLew1050

    Webster on Ujiri's future with the Raptors: "We know how committed Masai is to the team and it's really a non-issue for us"




    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
    “It’s about winning,” Stoudemire said. “You win, you’re going to get on national TV. Simple. In Phoenix, we won — Western Conference finals three, four years, playoffs every year. We won. If you don’t win, nobody really wants to see you.”

  7. #7
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    This is great. Finally some news about MU's contract. Hopefully they lock him up for a very long time.

  8. #8
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    Word on the street is it will be a short deal or a deal with opt outs. This is the prime of his career and he has accomplished everything that he can here. He will be looking to move to a historically relevant franchise (looking at you NY) or to an expansion team and will want to be able to make that happen quickly and easily once the opportunity comes. We're probably talking about him going to Seattle when it can happen.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_noodles View Post
    Word on the street is it will be a short deal or a deal with opt outs. This is the prime of his career and he has accomplished everything that he can here. He will be looking to move to a historically relevant franchise (looking at you NY) or to an expansion team and will want to be able to make that happen quickly and easily once the opportunity comes. We're probably talking about him going to Seattle when it can happen.
    I can see Seattle as a possibility. I doubt he signs with NY as they brought in Leon Rose last year and they are already winning as we have seen this season.

    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
    “It’s about winning,” Stoudemire said. “You win, you’re going to get on national TV. Simple. In Phoenix, we won — Western Conference finals three, four years, playoffs every year. We won. If you don’t win, nobody really wants to see you.”

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aman_13 View Post
    I can see Seattle as a possibility. I doubt he signs with NY as they brought in Leon Rose last year and they are already winning as we have seen this season.

    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
    I think that moved panned out for the Knicks. Likely the best move they've made in 20 years. somethings clicking there, and I think the FO change has alot to do with it. The Knicks look like they have a bright future for once.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_noodles View Post
    Word on the street is it will be a short deal or a deal with opt outs. This is the prime of his career and he has accomplished everything that he can here. He will be looking to move to a historically relevant franchise (looking at you NY) or to an expansion team and will want to be able to make that happen quickly and easily once the opportunity comes. We're probably talking about him going to Seattle when it can happen.
    Funny because I see it as the exact opposite. I don't think Masai has any desire to join another franchise. If anything my biggest worry was that he wanted to venture outside of basketball all together.

    To your other point, winning one championship isn't the end all, be all for a front office. Riley didn't say "well I've done all that I can here" and moved on after winning his first ship in Miami. I just have confidence that if Masai remains in the NBA that he is already where he wants to be. He'll get paid the way he wants, he'll have freedom to work on other projects, and he has a team that was constructed by his vision. Plus he has assets and cap space to work with. Its a better situation than when he first arrived that's for sure. And I think he takes a lot of pride in taking that team from where it was to where it is now.

    Also this is just me thinking out loud, but what he encountered with that officer in Golden State doesn't make living in the United States any more desirable. You could just tell how infuriated he was with that experience. With all that is going on in terms of racial tension and injustice, he has never experienced anything like that at the Scotia Bank arena. Other wise we would have heard about it I'm sure. I'm not saying that racism doesn't exist in Toronto, because it does to a point but Toronto is one of the most diverse places in the world, and a great example of how every culture could come and live in peace amongst one another. I can tell you first hand, living in the States is the exact opposite feeling. You are racially, religiously, and politically profiled by literally everyone. Now he has lived and worked in the states before but that was prior to the experience he had, and also prior to when these racial tensions escalated and came back out to the surface. I don't think this is the only factor he would consider, but I do think its one he would think twice about for his family.
    Last edited by smith&wesson; 05-19-2021 at 02:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aman_13 View Post
    No problem bro. I'm feeling confident about this as well. Here is a quote from Bobby on Masai's contract status via Josh Lewenberg:

    Replying to

    @JLew1050

    Webster on Ujiri's future with the Raptors: "We know how committed Masai is to the team and it's really a non-issue for us"




    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
    yes exactly! He also went on to say this should be a fill in the blank negotiation, how much money, how much term, how much flexibility etc.

  13. #13
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    Talking

    "It’s hard for me because these guys are incredible for me. To hear them say that… I honestly sometimes don’t know what to say," a choked-up Ujiri said after being told Fred VanVleet called him the second-most important Raptor behind Kyle Lowry. "Our players, the coaches, the staff… they’re incredible for me". "I’ll go to battle every day with those guys. Every single day. I love them like they’re my family."

    Grange "Ujiri later said that ownership has been clear about spending into luxury tax if the need is there. The point below is that his own decision isn’t going to be based on getting the biggest deal available."

    Masai “Everyone says blank check, blank check ... but we want to prepare ourselves to win another championship .... play in the play-in game, for what? So what is the next lift, what is the next 5 years to 10 years" Ujiri on what he will be taking to ownership about.

    This sounds to me he wants commitment from the ownership. Masai wants to know that the owners are committed to building another championship team and are willing to spend the money required to make that happen, and by the sounds of it the owners are giving him that assurance. I love this part of the article.

    "Yes, we won. Nobody cares anymore." "This is all about winning a championship again," said Ujiri.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article...ntract-status/


    This is all great stuff
    Last edited by smith&wesson; 05-19-2021 at 02:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    "It’s hard for me because these guys are incredible for me. To hear them say that… I honestly sometimes don’t know what to say," a choked-up Ujiri said after being told Fred VanVleet called him the second-most important Raptor behind Kyle Lowry. "Our players, the coaches, the staff… they’re incredible for me". "I’ll go to battle every day with those guys. Every single day. I love them like they’re my family."

    Grange "Ujiri later said that ownership has been clear about spending into luxury tax if the need is there. The point below is that his own decision isn’t going to be based on getting the biggest deal available."

    Masai “Everyone says blank check, blank check ... but we want to prepare ourselves to win another championship .... play in the play-in game, for what? So what is the next lift, what is the next 5 years to 10 years" Ujiri on what he will be taking to ownership about.

    This sounds to me he wants commitment from the ownership. Masai wants to know that the owners are committed to building another championship team and are willing to spend the money required to make that happen, and by the sounds of it the owners are giving him that assurance. I love this part of the article.

    "Yes, we won. Nobody cares anymore." "This is all about winning a championship again," said Ujiri.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article...ntract-status/


    This is all great stuff
    All of this makes me pretty confident a deal will get done. I don't think money is an object, and I believe that ownership is pointing in the same direction as Masai. Its simply about him being completely comfortable with that. The only true concern I have is if Tim Leiweke's group in Seattle gets an expansion franchise and coaxes Masai there. Obviously Leiweke was the central figure that convinced Masai to join our operation. I'm not overly concerned with this, but it is in the back of my mind as a possibility.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    "It’s hard for me because these guys are incredible for me. To hear them say that… I honestly sometimes don’t know what to say," a choked-up Ujiri said after being told Fred VanVleet called him the second-most important Raptor behind Kyle Lowry. "Our players, the coaches, the staff… they’re incredible for me". "I’ll go to battle every day with those guys. Every single day. I love them like they’re my family."

    Grange "Ujiri later said that ownership has been clear about spending into luxury tax if the need is there. The point below is that his own decision isn’t going to be based on getting the biggest deal available."

    Masai “Everyone says blank check, blank check ... but we want to prepare ourselves to win another championship .... play in the play-in game, for what? So what is the next lift, what is the next 5 years to 10 years" Ujiri on what he will be taking to ownership about.

    This sounds to me he wants commitment from the ownership. Masai wants to know that the owners are committed to building another championship team and are willing to spend the money required to make that happen, and by the sounds of it the owners are giving him that assurance. I love this part of the article.

    "Yes, we won. Nobody cares anymore." "This is all about winning a championship again," said Ujiri.

    https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/article...ntract-status/


    This is all great stuff
    He is the best executive in the game. I love his passion!

    Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
    “It’s about winning,” Stoudemire said. “You win, you’re going to get on national TV. Simple. In Phoenix, we won — Western Conference finals three, four years, playoffs every year. We won. If you don’t win, nobody really wants to see you.”

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