Masai Ujiri, the architect of the franchise’s 2019 NBA championship team, has agreed to a significant new deal to become vice chairman and president of the Toronto Raptors, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
His previous title was president.
After arriving in Toronto in 2013 as general manager, Ujiri has established himself as one of the most prominent, successful and sought-after executives in professional sports. In the final year and months of his expiring contract, Ujiri turned back overtures from several pro sports organizations beyond the NBA, sources said.
Ujiri will continue as both the Raptors’ top basketball/business executive and a global philanthropist through his Giants of Africa initiative, sources said.
In a Twitter video released by the Raptors on Thursday that did not reference the agreement, Ujiri spoke of his and the franchise’s objectives.
“On the court, our goal is clear: Win. It’s simple: Win. Bring another championship to Toronto,” Ujiri said in the video. “We are united in that mission and nothing else will do. We will bring young talent to this city and continue to build with our unbelievable players. I’ve said it before, and I am saying it again: We will win in Toronto. I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead this team. I love being the leader of the Toronto Raptors and I’m here to stay.”
Ujiri arrived in Toronto in 2013 after winning NBA Executive of the Year honors as Denver’s general manager and soon transformed the Raptors into an NBA contender and global franchise.
His trade for Kawhi Leonard in the summer of 2018 catapulted Toronto to the 2019 NBA championship.