Masai Ujiri re-signs with Toronto

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Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrate beating the Golden State Warriors in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors have officially knocked the offseason out of the park.

Since Ujiri came to the Raptors in 2013, the team has built from the ground up, going from a universal joke of a team to a titan and model franchise in pro sports anywhere. Toronto has a universally respected development team, and they’re one of the best scouting and drafting teams in the league. The coaching team has become not only one of the best in the league, but one that has turned into a pipeline of talent branching across the league. The team has intentionally fought for gender and racial equity in a variety of ways, as Ujiri has been outspoken in his valuation of progressive morality as a pillar of the franchise.

And that’s all off the court. Toronto improved from below .500 to a regular season buzzsaw to a championship squad. The Raptors were one of the best franchises of the 2010s, and that includes their hilariously bad start to the decade before Ujiri swooped in as a savior. Ujiri has always balanced solidity with aggression, which has been seen in his drafting, free agency, and trading history. With him at the helm, Toronto will always be a threat to strike, even if they had a down 2020-21 season.

Ujiri said it best with “believe in this city. Believe in yourselves.” He was courted by a variety of pro teams, within and outside of the NBA. But he chose Toronto.