Adrian Wojnarowski  is Tweeting that Masai Ujiri’s first move as GM of the Raptors is cutting Ed Stefanski lose. While it came as a bit of shock, the move isn’t a surprising one since you can’t have two GM’s (or an assistant GM that you didn’t hire, or whatever the hell Stefanski does) on a team, and the first order of business bringing new leaders is to clean up the front office. The top brass need to be on the same page before you start making rost changes.

I commend Masai getting his house in order well before the draft and free agency; one less thing to juggle while BC is whispering sweet nothings about team building. All that is left now is:

  • Trade Bargnani
  • Trade/amnesty Kleiza
  • Find a backup point guard
  • Find a real low-post offensive presence
  • Get a couple people who can shoot the ball
  • Coaching (have to re-up Casey or cut him; can’t go into the season with a lame-duck coach)

This is on top of other things I’m not thinking about because it’s Sunday morning and I struggled through a night of trying to get my kid to sleep.

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  • Paul Stevens

    At the first signs my kid wasn’t about to go to sleep, I’d have contacted Ujiri and asked whether I should trade him, move him down to the D league or continue to work on his personal development with maybe a session and Baby Louey’s Small Kids Camp.

  • Van Grungy

    “Find a real low-post offensive presence”

    • duncan

      JV will be that. and rudy can post up any of his covers. amir has shown the ability to score there, so we shouldnt be too worried about that. we shud focus on outside shooters

      • Van Grungy

        Not to mention Amir’s interior passing ability.

      • Copywryter

        JV is a long way from being a low-post threat.

        • That’s okay. This team is a long way off from doing anything, anyway.

          • Jack Hodgins

            always so negative

            • I always wonder whether the people who accuse me of this have actually looked at the state of the team. The same team I’m so “negative” about has just missed the playoffs for a franchise record fifth time, but have the 6th highest payroll in the league. They have no All Stars, feature some of the most overpaid players in the NBA. They just fired the GM who built the team and the new one has already gutted the front office.

              I think it’s safe to say that Leiweke and Ujiri are looking at the same team I am.

              • Jack Hodgins

                Yeah but they also see the positives like a young stud and C. A player who I personally think COULD be a all star if he developed a 3pt shot and got a tighter handle in Rudy and possibly Demar. I think if Ujiiri was looking at the same team as you he would not of taken this job no matter how much money he was offered you make the Raptors sound like a D-League team.

                • I do see the positives in Valanciunas, and have been very vocal in my praise of him. I also think Amir is probably better than many other Raptor fans. As for Gay and DeRozan, they both are what they are, especially Gay. He’s an overpriced, underachieving player whose had 7 years to put things together.

                • Jack Hodgins

                  I can kind of see where your coming with Gay I disagree but you do have ground to stand on, as for Derozan apart from a slight drop in 11-12 he has only improved every year and I think with his work ethic he will continue to improve, I don’t think he will ever be a great defensive player but he has the tools to be a good offensive player especially if he can knock down a 3 consistently and tightens up his handle.

                • DeRozan has played 32 mpg for his four years in the league. He is still well below average defensively, is a very poor 3 point shooter, and doesn’t have good handles. It’s great that he’s got a good work ethic, but can you name another player who, after how much DeRozan has played, has made the developmental leaps necessary to become the player you’re suggesting DeRozan can become?

                  And really, if he is able to make the developmental leaps you suggest, his absolute ceiling is a Monta Ellis or Corey Maggette, and there a reason neither have been a productive player on a good team.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  “can you name another player who, after how much DeRozan has played, has
                  made the developmental leaps necessary to become the player you’re
                  suggesting DeRozan can become?”

                  I think that’s a bit of a trap for a question, with so many escape hatches, but since Jack Hodgins spoke only to knocking down 3s and tighter handles, there’s many players in NBA history that have accomplished that after 23 years of age, and both are very doable with the work ethic that DD has become known for. Damn, he’s only 23!! The impatience of some people.

                  I would think you feel it’s a fair question, so here’s a somewhat matching type of question: Can you name me another player who, after missing out on so much development opportunities in his 3rd year (all the lockout ramifications), whose D is so bad that he played 35 MPG on a team that played very good D in that 3rd year, and with many changes to the revolving door team personnel, and focus on offense in his 4th year, improved in every single stat category, regular and advanced (yeah, i know small improvements, but EVERY single category in a year like this team had says something more than he’s given credit for here), yet is being written off by many “fans” of his team, at 23 years old, as what he will be in his prime?

                • kameko

                  Ujiri himself said he took the job because he knew of the huge challenge its going to be to turn this team around. Obviously a LOT of work needs to be done here. Its pretty obvious with the horrific record this year, lack of cap space due to overpaid and inefficient players, and no picks.

        • CJT

          He sure seemed to get better at it as the season went on, scoring with his running hook rather easily at times. He also displayed a very good drop step on several occasions, so I don’t think he is a long way off. He can certainly continue to improve this aspect of his game no question.

  • raptorspoo

    You talk as though all we need is a patch job.

  • DG88

    Jim Kelly was also fired along with another lead scout. Who thought Jim Kelly would get fired in our life time lol.

    • johng_3

      He wasn’t that bad of a scout.

      • DG88

        The guy used to look up players, and has been here since the team inception. It’s time for new blood.

    • Hotshot

      wasn’t he high on Terrence Ross? oh oh…..

  • b

    Good stuff, let’s clean house and get this organization in order. Send Gherardini packing too, he’d be great in europe far away from the Raps.

  • ItsAboutFun

    Good to see the man move so decisively to begin putting his own stamp on the team, though I expect the vitriol from many RR denizens won’t be far away when he doesn’t blow everything up the way some believe should be done.

  • ozrapsfan

    Makes perfect sense, if I was Ujiri i wouldn’t want 2 people in the room who I may question whether they have my back or not, I would question whether Stefanski had my back or Brians.

  • Tyler Sherkin

    JV is a project with upside, not a focal piece. MU is doing important things right now, but his hires will be as important as firing the old guard like Kelly. We still have to sort out a long-term coach and handle the roster issues mentioned above. I think Lowry IS the backup guard, though.

    • johng_3

      Lowry ain’t playing backup. Its either he starts or trade him.

      • Tyler Sherkin

        Then we ought to trade him, because he isn’t worth starting.

  • Dr Scooby

    Folks, its a complete rebuild or it will be more of the same (see last 5 seasons). Its time to let go and move on from many of the current Raptors.

  • Andre

    Well Stefanski did some good. He stopped BC from drafting Austin Rivers. He made his money!