May 9, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri during the press conference naming him NBA executive of the year at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets Drama: Denver Must Find Way to Keep Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri

There’s something strange about the Denver Nuggets’ newest dilemma. The Masai Ujiri drama isn’t going to encapsulate mainstream media outlets, but it has created a lot of debate and worry in a small pocket of the Internet. There’s been misleading headlines and contradicting figures on both the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets offers. Which leads me to believe that no one really knows exactly what’s going on.

Here’s what we do know:

  • 1. Toronto is going all in for Ujiri. The Raptors cut ties with Bryan Colangelo and I assume that Ujiri has been No. 1 on their radar for some time now. It just makes sense. Ujiri was the prodigy who got his chance in an NBA front office in Toronto. The prodigy went off, rebuilt a Denver Nuggets team under dire circumstances (the Carmelo saga) and built a roster based on economical free agency signings and savvy trades. Now, in Toronto’s mind, it’s time for him to come back home to take over where his sensei left off.
  • 2. Toronto is offering somewhere between 1.5-3 million dollars a year for Ujiri. I know, that’s a huge space in between but there’s no way to tell for sure what the exact figure is.
  • 3. Denver reportedly offered 1.2 million per year. Shout out to Nate Timmons of Denver Stiffs for all of the links he’s providing.
  • 4. Denver needs to up the anty if they want to have a shot in keeping the NBA’s reigning Executive of the Year.
  • 5. It’s really easy to fool people on Twitter. A fake Masai Ujiri Twitter account fooled NBC’s ProBasketballTalk. Seriously, people still fall for fake Twitter accounts? I understand timeliness is important and being the first to report something can have a serious impact in your views in this social media driven industry but, damn, you have to be better than that.
  • 6. None of us really know what’s going on.

What we do know is that maintaining the league’s brightest, young GM needs to be No. 1 on Denver’s priority list. Yes, keeping Andre Iguodala is of the utmost importance but losing Ujiri would be devastating and would probably seal Iguodala’s departure as well.

Nuggets president Josh Kroenke is worth somewhere between $4-$4.5 billion according to this website. In 2009 the average NBA GM made around $1.5M which means that Denver’s reported offer is still $300,000K lower than the average GM. For one of the best GMs. After he’s proven himself as a wily, young economist with an eye for NBA talent. Doesn’t really make sense to me. If you’re Kroenke, you throw whatever you can to keep the franchise’s leading man, right? Or you can let him go by the wayside and watch your franchise become a bottom dweller. Your move, Josh.

For now I urge you to sit back, relax, and stay off Twitter for a while. Reports will be coming in constantly over the next few days and reading too much into it will drive you insane. Trust me. I refreshed Twitter every 20 seconds for like three months during the Dwight Howard saga. It’s not worth it.

I’ll do my best, as I’m sure every other Nuggets writer out there will, to keep you informed with the most credible sources available. But for fans, my advice is to take a deep breath and enjoy the rest of the NBA playoffs.


Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @lashy.

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