In a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst, the duo cited a source that said the Toronto Raptors and President Masai Ujiri are in deep conversation about an extension. This move would is nothing short of a no-brainer for the organization since Ujiri has built a team that’s on the cusp of contending for an NBA title.
The 46-year-old Nigerian has two more years left on his contract, but the extension was said to be “lucrative,” and is most likely going to have an annual salary that exceeds the three million for his current deal. Toronto is keen on keeping the core of the franchise together since they’ve already inked All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and head coach Dwane Casey to extensions.
Also Read: Dwane Casey signs multi-year extension
Toronto is coming off the best season in franchise history, and the team had their first ever 50-plus-win season and advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time where they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.
When Ujiri inherited the team during the summer of 2013, Toronto had won just 34 games the year before and hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007-08 when they finished 41-41 under Sam Mitchell. The turnaround was immediate, and the Raptors went on to win 48, 49, and 56 games over the next three seasons, which are the three highest win totals in franchise history.
What’s next for Ujiri and the Raptors is simple: acquire a respectable middle-tier player. Toronto finished just one game behind Cleveland in the conference standings, which is remarkable when you consider how the East made vast improvements from previous years, and also how dominant Cleveland was for most of the season. Still, they’re just one more decent player from legitimately contending for a championship, and it showed against the Cavaliers as DeRozan and Lowry struggled mightily.
The All-Star backcourt is going to be better in coming seasons, but one reliable option would make them just that much better.
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