Bobby Webster Discusses Masai Ujiri, Pascal Siakam, & Raptors’ Draft Philosophy – Sports Illustrated

Toronto Raptors general manager Bobby Webster says Masai Ujiri is still working for the team and Pascal Siakam is recovering well ahead of the NBA Draft

Masai Ujiri is still working for the Toronto Raptors.

While everything else is uncertain about his future with the organization and how it’ll impact the 2021 NBA Draft and ensuing free agency, Toronto’s head honcho continues to run business as usual.

“I had dinner with him last night. I had breakfast with him this morning. He’s upstairs making phone calls,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said during his Wednesday afternoon pre-draft media availability. “So I think he’s busy.”

With that out of the way, let’s run through everything else Webster said.

Options Beginning to Narrow: With so many rumors circulating these days, it certainly appears as though Toronto is checking in on all its options ahead of the draft. Webster said the organization has looked into moving up, moving down, or making the pick, and has narrowed its options down to about three or four.

“Obviously being at 4, you don’t know who’s gonna go 1, 2, 3, so you need to have those scenarios played out, if your guy’s there at 4 or your guy’s not there at 4, or you’re comfortable with a couple guys at 4 and you can trade back,” he said. “Those are starting to narrow as far as what are we realistic, what would we actually do tomorrow.”

Talent Over Fit: The Raptors continue to reiterate they aren’t worried about fit when it comes to the draft. Their goal is to take the best player available and figure it all out later.

“We’d rather have that problem than taking the player now who maybe fits but two, three, four years down the line isn’t good enough,” Webster said.

Trading Back is Easier than Trading Up: The asking price to move up in this year’s draft is high, Webster said, making a trade down easier than moving up.

Return to Toronto Looking Good: There’s no official word yet about a Raptors return to Toronto next season but considering the Toronto FC and Blue Jays are coming back it would only make sense that the Raptors get the go-ahead too.

“Obviously it’s a positive sign,” Webster said. “We’re obviously all really excited and looking forward to coming back to Toronto and hopefully that means we’re playing games and fans are in the stands.”

Moving to No. 4: Raptors feel like they jumped up a tier moving from No. 7 to No. 4 in the NBA Draft and think their chances to land a “really impactful player” got a lot better.

Pascal Siakam Update: Webster said Toronto sent some medical personnel to check in on Pascal Siakam recently and he appeared to be progressing well.

“Seen videos he’s starting to work on his range of movement and so by all accounts really positive for him,” Webster said.

There’s been no update on his timeline which originally had him scheduled to return just after the start of the 2021-22 season.

Taste of Toronto Room: The Raptors have created a Toronto room down in Tampa to give prospects a taste of the city when they visit the organization. Webster wouldn’t say exactly what’s inside, but the room has some of Toronto’s best restaurants and gives players a feeling for what it’s like to live in the city.

Further Reading

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