After reports suggested the Washington Wizards were interested in hiring Masai Ujiri, some are doubting whether he should have left the Toronto Raptors.
While Toronto Raptors fans should be given every chance soak in this off-season as NBA champions, that hasn’t stopped the media south of the border from trying to rain on the parade.
You might have recalled that moments after lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy, there was a report suggesting the Washington Wizards were going to prepare a sizeable offer to make Ujiri their president of basketball operations. Talk about terrible timing.
Everybody shrugged that off considering the Raptors had just won the title and were given high odds to potentially retain Kawhi Leonard. After Kawhi decided to return home and play for the LA Clippers, there have been some doubting whether Ujiri is making the right move staying in Toronto.
Appearing on The Bill Simmons podcast, Stephen A. Smith gave his thoughts (of course he did) about whether Ujiri should have moved on rather than sticking around.
"“I think Masai made a mistake,” Smith explained Simmons. “I believe he should have taken a shot and gone to the nation’s capital to take over the Washington Wizards. I truly believe that… You have nowhere to go but down in Toronto. Now, you will [have] security for years to come, no question. You will be somebody who will be deified in that area for a long time to come.”"
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Smith believes Masai should have moved on after pulling off one of the gutsiest off-season moved to trade for Kawhi and firing Dwane Casey. Now Simmons agreed with Smith in saying that he should have left.
There is the point that the Raptors don’t necessarily have a long term outlook that gives them much of a chance to remain contenders. However, to suggest there is nothing for Ujiri to build with is a bit rash.
Considering the steps Pascal Siakam took this season, you have to think he holds the key to the Raptors remaining relevant down the road. Also, Ujiri has a blank canvas to work with when Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol come off the books.
Why would he want to leave that for the Washington Wizards who are a disaster and have an anchor of a contract in John Wall that is unmovable at this point? There really is none.
if we have learned anything about Masai in the time that he’s been in Toronto it’s that you don’t let the doubters disprove what you are trying to accomplish. Block out the noise and have faith in your plan. As Tim and Sid once taught us “I Believe in Masai.”
What do you think about the latest comments by Smith on Ujiri? Should he have bolted out of Toronto or did he made the right move? Let us know in the comments below.