Thursday 27th July 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri Says Toronto Gearing Up for ‘Culture Reset’ This Offseason

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri Says Toronto Gearing Up for ‘Culture Reset’ This Offseason

Masai Ujiri

It sounds like the Toronto Raptors will look a lot different next season.

General manager Masai Ujiri addressed reporters on Tuesday, and while he wouldn’t commit to tearing the team down, he indicated the Raptors will consider everything. The prevailing theme: This team is headed toward a cultural overhaul. Per The Athletic’s Eric Koreen:

As part of this reset, Ujiri made it clear we shouldn’t expect to see all of Toronto’s free agents back in town:

Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson and P.J. Tucker will all hit the open market this July. If the Raptors max out Lowry while bringing the other three back at their cap holds—a combined $37.1 million—they’ll be looking at a payroll that soars past $150 million and all the luxury-tax penalties that follow. There is no feasible scenario in which they pay that much for this core. It’d be different if they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, or were even competitive throughout the series, but they weren’t.

To that end, everyone is a flight risk. But Ujiri remains committed to bringing back Lowry, the lifeblood of this team:

Some people will want the Raptors to pivot—to let Lowry and Ibaka walk, then tear the rest of it down. Blowing up a roster doesn’t work that way, though. Losing Lowry and Ibaka for nothing is not an ideal scenario. You try bringing them back with the intent to trade them later, or you try shedding others salaries already on the roster–in this case those of DeMarre Carroll and Jonas Valanciunas. Should the Raptors be fully committed to Lowry moving forward, don’t surprised if DeMar DeRozan’s name enters the rumor mill, either.

So, basically, it’s going to be a wild summer in Toronto.

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