Unlike both his old boss and his new boss Masai Ujiri is not going to drop any declarative bombs on his team’s fan base. During Bryan Colangelo’s tenure the former Toronto Raptors general manager who first brought Ujiri to Toronto was famous for setting high expectations on the first day of training camp. Usually his words wound up stalking him. Tim Leiweke who brought Ujiri the reigning NBA executive of the year from Denver to the Raptors this off-season has been bold during his short tenure. Famously he has revealed that he has already planned out the parade route for the Maple Leafs’ eventual Stanley Cup win.

Ujiri knows the power of words though. He is careful.

“I really can’t say this team is going to be fourth or seventh or 12th” Ujiri said in a one-on-one interview in his corner office days before his first training camp as general manager of the Raptors. “I can’t do that. I want us to have growth big-time growth and improvement so that we can actually know what we have on this team. And then we can move from there.”

It is a patient approach — perhaps too patient for some fans who would like Ujiri to take a blowtorch to the roster Colangelo built — but don’t mistake patience for a lack of confidence. You do not rise from an obscure international scout to winning the top award for NBA executives in little more than a decade without a little faith in your ability.