Earlier today, Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri spoke with the media about the upcoming NBA draft and the buzz leading up to it. With the Raptors not wanting to disappoint again, the pressure to obtain a player who can impact the team has immediately intensified.
Masai "We're open for business." picks players in play— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 23, 2015
With the rumour mill at full speed, it's not hard for players to get caught up in all the buzz. Ujiri was asked about the recent comments from Raptors' point guard Greivis Vasquez, who said he's receiving interest from a few teams but wants to stay in Toronto. It's strange for a player, who remains under a contract, to go public with such comments. Vasquez later tweeted his love for Toronto.
Ujiri, who is always closed mouthed about the actual behind the scenes of any decision, was quick to downplay Vasquez' comments saying it's far from the truth.
Masai on greivis saying Houston and wolves interested in him: "greivis says a lot of things."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) June 23, 2015
More Masai on Greivis' comments: "Take it with a grain of salt. Greivis is Greivis... We'll hear a lot more from Greivis, I'm sure"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) June 23, 2015
Holding only the 20th pick, Masai suggested that he would try to get another draft pick:
Masai said Raptors would consider buying a second. "Can never have enough young talent."— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 23, 2015
Ujiri also acknowledged that Toronto has started narrowing down its choices:
Raptors have narrowed list for 20 down to five or six players. Talent, skill paramount, but lots of factors to consider.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 23, 2015
With the Raptors far from a finished product, Masai said changes are coming, though maybe not the ones you'd expect. (He also admitted that he messed up!)
Masai says he "messed up" with the "composition" of the team, a few changes are coming but suggests the core could still remain intact.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) June 23, 2015
MU: "I think I messed ... a lot with the composition of the team, how we played, the types of players we had…"— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) June 23, 2015
Aside from the much anticipated NBA Draft, Masai touched based on the D-League team expected to come to the GTA. He said theres still some work that needs to be done in securing a franchise but remains hopeful that it will launch next season.
Masai still not sure if D-League team will be in place for next season or not.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 23, 2015
Raptors keeping fingers crossed on D-League "we're in the end zone"— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 23, 2015
Ujiri has constantly preached for the acquisition of a D-League team saying it would work wonders on Bruno Caboclo and BeBe Nogueira. Considering how much they've hyped up a team, it would be disappointing if MLSE and the Raptors couldn't deliver.
So, what do you guys think of Masai's comments?