Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri laid out his mindset as he approaches contract negotiations with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in an address to media today.
"Everybody says blank cheque, blank cheque, but I'm not as much focused on blank cheque. A lot of the things that we have done here, we have to move forward as a franchise to compete with the best in the NBA. This is all about winning a championship again," Ujiri said.
🚨Masai speech🚨— William Lou (@william_lou) May 19, 2021
"This is all about winning the championship again. Lemme tell you something - everybody has forgotten what happened two years ago. We won. Nobody cares anymore. We want to win another one ... everybody's like why dont you get in the play in -- play in FOR WHAT?" pic.twitter.com/jmdMU34yrM
"Lemme tell you something — everybody has forgotten what has happened two years ago. Yes we won, but nobody cares anymore. We want to win another one, that's what you want to do. You want to prepare yourself to win another one. Not playing the play-in game, not playing the playoffs, you want to win a championship.
"Everybody's like 'why don't you get in the play-in' — play-in for what? We want to win a championship here, and we have to put ourselves in position. So a lot of things that we did, whether that's build a practice facility, whether it's to get everybody to see us hosting an All-Star game, or getting a G-League team, I have an incredible staff that they allowed me to hire here from front office, to coaches, to medical. We have Drake, our ambassador who has been incredible to us, has lifted us," Ujiri said.
"Yeah, so what's the next lift? What's the next five years? What's the next ten years? What are we doing to put ourselves in conversation with all the great teams, and all the winners? That's what we want to do, and that's the conversation I'm going to have [with ownership]. Yes, I'm going to have asks, I'm going to have a lot of things that I think we need to put forward here to address these things, and I think ownership is open to hear this."
Ujiri has been with the Raptors since 2013 and helped guide the franchise to new heights, which included an NBA title in 2019.