Bryan Colangelo Staying With Raptors, But Will Cede Control Of Basketball Operations
MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke this morning announced Bryan Colangelo will remain with the team as President but will give up all basketball-related decisions to an incoming GM. Colangelo will advise Leiweke on basketball-related matters while contributing to the business side of the franchise. Leiweke said he hopes to name a new GM within the next month (Raptors). In Toronto, Doug Smith reports Colangelo’s future has been "cloudy" since Leiweke's arrival last month. The Raptors held an "option on a final contract year for Colangelo and Leiweke seemed lukewarm from the start about picking it up." But Colangelo has "always been a loyal and valued part of the organization, a fact not lost on ownership." Sources indicated that MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum "may have been involved in the process of finding a suitable and significant position for Colangelo, a process that was still being finalized" yesterday afternoon. Colangelo will represent the Raptors at tonight's NBA draft lottery in N.Y. (TORONTO STAR, 5/21). The GLOBE & MAIL's Robert MacLeod notes Leiweke has stated that fixing the Raptors is his "top priority." Leiweke has "already engaged an executive search firm -- Korn/Ferry International -- to gather a list of potential candidates to replace Colangelo." Yahoo Sports over the weekend reported Nuggets Exec VP/Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri is at the "top of that list and is being seriously pursued by the Raptors." A source said that Colangelo still "considers himself to be a 'basketball guy,' so how long he remains with the Raptors in his new position is a matter of conjecture" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/21).
WHAT IS NEXT? In Toronto, Ryan Wolstat wrote while the Raptors want to bring on Ujiri, it is "just as likely he stays put." The Raptors also have "been linked" to Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard and Thunder VP & Assistant GM Troy Weaver. If Ujiri stays with the Nuggets, sources said that Raptors Exec VP/Basketball Operations Ed Stefanski "could also be in play" (TORONTO SUN, 5/21).