Masai’s Key Acquisition that Led to 2019 Championship

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From 2008 – 2013, the Toronto Raptors went through rough and horrible seasons. They missed five consecutive playoffs and the departure of Chris Bosh in 2010 didn’t help the team’s progression. The hiring of Masai Ujiri as the executive vice president and general manager in 2013 changed the whole ambiance of the team.
 
Immediately, Masai Ujiri made an impact on the team. The Raptors traded Andrea Bargnani to the New York Knicks for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson; a 2014 2nd round pick, a 2017 2nd round pick and a 2016 1st round pick. Ujiri traded his best player to the New York Knicks for a bunch of draft picks and role players. This trade influenced their championship run to the NBA Finals in 2019.
 
On December 9, 2013, the Raptors made another move that traded Rudy Gay. Raptors traded Quincy Acy, Rudy Gay and Aaron Gray to the Sacramento Kings for Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons, and Greivis Vasquez. It was the turning point of the Toronto Raptors organization. Both John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez were the domino effect of adding great players. John Salmons was traded to Atlanta Hawks for Lucas Nogueira and Lou Williams. Eventually, Lou Williams left the team and signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Greivis Vasquez was a great addition for the Toronto Raptors but he was also traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Norman Powell and the 2017 1st round draft pick. That 2017 1st round draft pick turned out to be OG Anunoby.
 
The departure of Bismack Biyombo caused the lack of shot-blocking and defense in the 2016-2017 season. The Raptors needed a player who can anchor the defense so the team traded Terence Ross and 2017 1st round pick to the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka. Since the trade, the team lost against Cleveland Cavaliers two years in a row in the second round of the playoffs. They reconstructed and made a few calculated moves that improved the team.
 
The 2016 1st round pick from Andrea Bargnani trade ended up to be Jakob Poeltl. He was the key piece of acquiring superstar Kawhi Leonard. Toronto Raptors traded Demar Derozan, Jakob Poeltl and the 2019 1st round draft pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The team improved but they needed to add another veteran player that could help Serge Ibaka in the frontcourt defense. On February 7, 2019, The Raptors traded Jonas Valanciunas, C. J. Miles, Delon Wright, and 2024 2nd round draft pick to Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol.
 
The Toronto Raptors also drafted and signed young players that complemented their superstars. Raptors drafted Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. They also signed undrafted rookie Fred VanVleet. The undervalued acquisition of Raptors is the addition of Patrick McCaw. It was a tactical move for the Toronto Raptors. They knew a big possibility that they would face the Golden State Warriors. Patrick McCaw was the backup shooting guard for the Warriors. Coincidentally, the Toronto Raptors faced the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA finals. As a former floor general of the Golden State Warriors, Patrick McCaw knew the other team’s playbook. McCaw played limited minutes but he helped the Raptors beat the defending Champion Golden State Warriors.
 
Since 1995, the Toronto Raptors have never won an NBA championship. Masai Ujiri orchestrated and brought the first-ever Championship to Toronto. 

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