James Dolan wants to have Masai Ujiri replace Phil Jackson as Knicks president
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is being reported to be Dolan’s target to take the place of the the Zen Master, to help the Knicks turn their fortunes around. However, it’s easier said than done as the former Executive of the Year winner is still under contract with the Raptors, and it’s unknown if he’ll be interested in moving to New York instead.
Knicks owner James Dolan is targeting Toronto's Masai Ujiri to replace Phil Jackson as N.Y.'s President, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 28, 2017
Ujiri became the league’s first African-born team executive when he held the position of assistant general manager of the Raptors back in 2008. He then moved to the Denver Nuggets where he accepted the role of executive vice president of basketball operations before heading back to Toronto in 2013. He has been credited for being the architect that made it possible for his team to reach their current run of success, and building a lineup that has contended in the Eastern Conference the past couple of seasons.
The Knicks will be hard-pressed to hire an immediate replacement for Jackson, especially with how high the position is. Dolan and company are aware of their situation, but also understand that they need to act fast, as the official start of free agency is only a few days away. The big decisions they are expected to make this summer also adds up to the pressure of finding a new team president the soonest, as it could dictate the direction the franchise is headed to.
It remains to be seen if Ujiri will accept an offer from the Knicks or not, but should he decline it, the team will need to move on from him quickly and interview the next candidate they are considering for the job.