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Thread: Masai Ujiri -- Scout

  1. #1
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    Default Masai Ujiri -- Scout

    Not much to talk about here ... just thought it was an interesting note
    One of the most prominent members of the Mavericks' front-office team has been targeted by the NBA to run its soon-to-open offices in Africa.

    Dallas director of scouting Amadou Fall -- who had a key role in the drafting of prized Mavs rookie guard Rodrigue Beaubois and ranks as one of the league's foremost experts on African basketball along with Toronto's Masai Ujiri -- has been offered the opportunity to run the league's new operations in the South African capital of Johannesburg.
    Link -- ESPN's weekend dime

    Good to know one of Toronto's top front office members is one of the league's best experts on African basketball players.

    Ujiri is the Raptors Director of Global Scouting (I think!).

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    How come we haven't reaped any benefits from this guy? Mamdou?

  3. #3
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    Draft Picks

    Ujiri was hired a month after Bargnani was selected in the 2007 draft. The only draft pick the Raptors have made since then was DeRozan, right?

    Africa

    Also, there hasn't been a lot of NBA talent out of Africa over the last 10-15 years. The talent pool hasn't been the same (Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo ... Manute Bol). The only high quality African player I can think of since off the top of my head is Luol Deng and he moved to Britain and then the US (14) at an early age. Who am I forgetting? Was there more talent than I'm remembering over the last decade out of Africa?

    Serge Ibaka (pro ball in Spain). Mbah a Moute (three year player at UCLA). Diop (drafted out of US high school). Oh, Hasheem Thabeet (three years at Connecticut)

    Not a lot of talent ... remember when people were expecting an influx of talent from Africa after Olajuwon and Mutombo but it never really happened. Maybe it will in the future. There has been a little more talent in recent seasons than the previous 5-10 years.

    -----------------------------------------

    Before the Raptors, Ujiri worked with the Denver Nuggets for four years as Director of International Scouting. Great, the only picks Denver made in those years was Carmelo Anthony (obvious pick) + Julius Hodge (horrible pick). One year in Orlando before that (2002-03), Magic picked Reece Gaines (horrible pick) and Zaza Pachulia (international talent, #43 in draft, excellent pick) in 2003 and picked Curtis Bochart (horrible pick) in 2002. Also, Krstic was available in 2002 and Barbosa + Delfino were available in 2003, they were taken at the end of the first round when Orlando had mid-first round picks. Also, unsure if Ujiri was involved in both drafts or either of them. Raptors press release when they signed him simply said he worked with the Magic in 2002-03 (both drafts? one draft? 2002 or 2003?).

    No idea how much responsibility Ujiri had in any of those selections. He was the in charge of international scouting at both teams and those teams made only international selection who was an excellent pick in the second round.

    He was hired at the end of July in 2007 which I think was after the Anthony Parker + Jorge Garbajosa signings. So no influence there either. Will Solomon perhaps? Orlando signed Oydeji (African) for the 2002/03 season who didn't amount to anything in the NBA. I liked him, nice physical big (good rebounder, decent defender, great athlete), surprised he didn't survive as a third string big man. I don't think he had much success since leaving the NBA either. Delfino trade perhaps? Maceo Baston signing? Jawai draft pick? Probably has some responsibility for Jawai. Pops Mensah-Bonsu signing?

    Anyway, not much information to base opinions on (positive or negative) ... not with the Raptors ... not with African talent ... not from past jobs.

    Has anyone heard anything definite/concrete on Ujiri's role in any signings, trades, or draft picks? I can't recall anything.
    Last edited by Dave; Sat Dec 19th, 2009 at 11:44 PM.

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