It didn’t take long after the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship for the rumors to start flying about what comes next. No, I’m not talking about Kawhi Leonard. Less than ten minutes after the final whistle blew, Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Washington Wizards plan to offer Masai Ujiri a “prolific” deal to take over their franchise and lead them into a new era of basketball.
It’s hard to imagine Ujiri leaving after spending the last six years building up the Raptors franchise and making perhaps the biggest high-risk, high-reward move in recent history by trading for Leonard. It wouldn’t be the first time Ujiri immediately exited what looked like an ideal situation from the outside, though. He joined the Raptors immediately after winning Executive of the Year for his work with the Denver Nuggets.
The Wizards are a bit of a disaster right now, filled with bloated contracts after the lengthy tenure of Ernie Grunfeld. But if anyone can fix it, Ujiri can. His decision may come down to Leonard’s; while Toronto isn’t in a terrible position without Leonard after the surprising emergence of Pascal Siakam, it’s unrealistic to think they’d be title contenders without Leonard to guide them. Besides, the Wizards may as well swing for the fences. They have nothing to lose.