May 18, 2013 2:15 PM EDT
After a breakout season in Europe, Gani Lawal has intrigued NBA teams and could receive consideration for a contract, league sources told RealGM.
Lawal has already scheduled workouts – private and as part of mini-camps – with the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic, sources said. Four to five other teams have discussed bringing him in to work out, too.
Lawal, the 6-foot-9 athletic, scrappy forward, had his best professional season with Italy’s Virtus Roma, averaging 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Virtus Roma has gone 20-10 this season and ranks third in the league standings.
Since leaving the Phoenix Suns organization that drafted him in the second round in 2010, Lawal, 24, has lost weight and added strength. Lawal played one game with the Suns two seasons ago and was in the San Antonio Spurs’ training camp in 2011, but he was derailed by injuries and didn’t figure into a long-term plan. He was drafted after three years at Georgia Tech.
May 18, 2013 11:05 AM EDT
The Toronto Raptors are pursuing Masai Ujiri to become the team's top basketball executive, according to sources.
Ujiri was named the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year for his work as general manager of the Nuggets.
Ujiri's contract with the Nuggets expires this summer and he has been in discussions on an extension.
Korn/Ferry International, the search firm hired by MLSE to search for a new GM for the Raptors, has identified Ujiri as its top candidate.
MLSE has until Monday to make a decision on whether to retain Bryan Colangelo, who could stay with the franchise under a new decision-maker.
Ujiri worked for three years with the Raptors under Colangelo before becoming GM of the Nuggets.
May 17, 2013 6:30 PM EDT
MLSE, owner of the Toronto Raptors, have hired a firm to search for a possible replacement for Bryan Colangelo.
The Raptors have until Monday to make a decision on whether to pick up their option on Colangelo's contract for the 13-14 season.
Kevin Pritchard and Troy Weaver are two names being mentioned as candidates to replace Colangelo, should the Raptors make a move.
Tim Leiweke became CEO of MLSE last month and will have final say on the Raptors' general manager position.
May 14, 2013 2:39 PM EDT
Damian Lillard headlines the 2013 NBA All-Rookie Team as a unanimous selection.
Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harrison Barnes joined Lillard on the All-Rookie First Team.
On the All-Rookie Second Team is Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller.
May 12, 2013 8:14 PM EDT
The Toronto Raptors have requested permission to interview Tyronn Lue for a position on Dwane Casey's coaching staff.
Lue has been an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics since 2009.
Apr 30, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
Tim Leiweke doesn't officially begin his tenure as president of the Toronto Raptors until June 30, but he will have influence over the MLSE board's decision on whether to pick up Bryan Colangelo's contract option for the 13-14 NBA season at a mid-May meeting.
It had been assumed that the Raptors would give Colangelo and Dwane Casey one more season to produce better results, but the situation has presumably changed due to the presence of Leiweke.
Phil Jackson is one candidate to take over the Raptors' front office.
Apr 30, 2013 9:56 AM EDT
Phil Jackson is prepared to listen to a pitch from the Toronto Raptors about taking a lead role in their basketball operations, but a source says that he wants to listen to options from other teams as well.
Jackson would prefer an advisory role similar to Jerry West's current position with the Golden State Warriors rather than a more active role similar to Pat Riley with the Miami Heat.
Multiple sources doubt whether Jackson would be satisfied by a position with the Raptors. A similar position with the Charlotte Bobcats was not initially appealing to Jackson.
Jackson would seek a situation where he can hire a head coach that would implement his vision.
Speculation that Jackson could end up with the Raptors increased with the hiring of Tim Leiweke, former CEO of AEG.
"He's very well-connected in the league and he has to rebuild that franchise," a league source said of Leiweke. "... He's about championships. They didn't just bring him in there to mind the house."
Sources told ESPN that the Raptors perceived the Seattle-based ownership group that has been attempting to purchase the Kings as the Raptors' biggest threat for Jackson.
Apr 26, 2013 1:41 PM EDT
Tim Leiweke has been named president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
MLSE owns the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leiweke was previously president of AEG, which runs Staples Center amongst many other venues.
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that he heard rumors of the Raptors having interest in hiring Phil Jackson as team president. Leiweke and Jackson are familiar with one another from their time in Los Angeles over the past decade.
Apr 23, 2013 5:04 PM EDT
Andrea Bargnani has $22.5 million remaining on his contract and sources say the Toronto Raptors would likely have to include an asset in order to trade him.
The Raptors pursued a trade of Bargnani throughout the season, something Bryan Colangelo even admitted.
Bargnani signed a $50 million extension with the Raptors in July of 2009.
Apr 23, 2013 12:59 PM EDT
Bryan Colangelo does not have a contract for the 13-14 NBA season, but sources say the MLSE board is unlikely to consider a regime change.
Colangelo had instant success with the Toronto Raptors and won Executive of the Year in 2007, but the team hasn't been back to the playoffs since 2008.
Colangelo and the Raptors were unable to successfully build around Chris Bosh and haven't been bad enough since his departure to draft a franchise player as a replacement.
The Raptors improved their winning percentage from .348 in 11-12 to .415 this season, adding Rudy Gay, Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry to their roster over the past 12 months.
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Rudy Gay wore goggles in practices during the season, but couldn't find a pair that were comfortable enough for him to wear in games.
Bryan Colangelo addressed the media on Monday following the fifth consecutive season in which the Raptors missed the playoffs.
The Thunder spoke to the Raptors about a trade centered on James Harden for Jonas Valanciunas.
Bryan Colangelo's contract with the Raptors expires in July.
Jonas Valanciunas was fitted with a protective collar and escorted from the court.
Damian Lillard won his fifth consecutive NBA Rookie of the Month award.
Rudy Gay missed the Raptors' loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday, instead staying in Toronto for treatment on his back.
Rudy Gay is shooting 36.7 percent from the field in March.
The Raptors are not considering making Andrea Bargnani an amnesty cut.
Andrea Bargnani will miss the remainder of the season due to an avulsion sprain of his right elbow.
The Raptors are expected to pursue Carl Landry this offseason if he opts out of his contract with the Warriors.
Rudy Gay has enjoyed the challenge since being traded to the Raptors.
Chauncey Billups advised Kyle Lowry not to damage his relationship with the Raptors again.
Quincy Acy has averaged 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 21.7 minutes per game in the D-League.
Dwane Casey expects the Raptors to build around Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.
Andrea Bargnani has averaged 6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game since returning on Feb. 6.
Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors both appear to prefer moving on at this point.
The Raptors have acquired Sebastian Telfair from the Suns for Hamed Haddadi.
Sebastian Telfair is in the final season of his current deal.
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The Raptors could use depth at point guard following their trade of Jose Calderon.
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