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After a lengthy meeting with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment executives in Colorado on Friday, Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri – armed with a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract offer – is engaged in negotiations to take over as the Toronto Raptors' GM, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Ujiri will take the next couple days to fully consider the move, but significant momentum has gathered that likely will lead to Ujiri's departure from the franchise that he completely remade into a Western Conference contender, sources told Y! Sports.
Ujiri's Denver contract expires on June 30, and it appears Nuggets ownership has no intention of making an aggressive counter to the Raptors' dogged pursuit of the NBA's Executive of the Year.
Denver ownership "seems to be moving on," one league source familiar with the talks told Y! Sports.
Toronto's bid is believed to be double – perhaps even triple – the best offer Denver has made to Ujiri in his contract talks with the organization. Ujiri is one of the lowest-paid executives in the league, and the Kroenke family – which owns the Nuggets – doesn't appear moved to make a competitive bid to hold onto him.
New MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke is spearheading Toronto's pursuit of Ujiri.
Ujiri, 42, was voted the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year and has emerged as one of the elite front-office minds in the league. Since leaving Toronto in 2010, Ujiri has done a masterful job reshaping the Nuggets into a Western Conference contender in a post-Carmelo Anthony era.
Toronto has stripped one of Ujiri's mentors, president Bryan Colangelo, of ultimate say on basketball matters but Colangelo will remain on the business side of the Raptors' organization. Ujiri had been the assistant GM for the Raptors, and his hiring would be hailed in Canada as a signal that the franchise is serious about again becoming relevant in the NBA.
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