As the Knicks continue to soul-search, their connection to Masai Ujiri grows stronger by the day.
With reports hinting at mutual interest between both sides, we have to consider a Masai-to-Knicks scenario possible. Unfortunately for James Dolan and the Knickerbockers, possible doesn’t mean likely.
And in the case of their #1 front-office target, Masai is under contract, and the Raptors don’t intend to give him up for nothing.
We know that team president Steve Mills’ future with the Knicks is uncertain. We also know that people of influence at Madison Square Garden are, in the words of one source, ‘obsessed’ with Toronto president Masai Ujiri.
But teams talk, and a baseline of two first-round picks is where multiple SNY sources familiar with the dynamic of such negotiations expect any Knicks-Ujiri talks to start.
When talking about the Knicks-Ujiri hypothetical, it’s fair to assume that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tannenbaum will want at least two firsts in a package for Ujiri.
No doubt, Ujiri is a basketball mastermind. Having helped lead the Raptors to their first-ever title last season, he isn’t afraid to make the big move if he thinks it will make his team better.
But is having him run their franchise worth the price of not one, but two first-round draft picks?
That’s something Knicks owner James Dolan will have to decide if he’s serious about bringing in Masai.