Masai Ujiri has a message for those who sit on the edge of their seat, hanging on every notification on their phones. “The trade deadline is for [media; fans], to be honest,” said the Raptors president in his first comments after sitting on the sidelines for most of the February 8 deadline. “It’s a bunch of BS. Everybody thinks you are so busy, but really you are waiting on calls on your phone. “It’s not that crazy in my opinion, but it can get crazy for like 15 minutes. That’s just the way it is. Everybody seems so tensed up, but it’s really not like that. If you’re involved in something and you’re working on it, then yes. Other than that, yesterday for like five hours we were quiet.” The Raptors only move was trading away Bruno Caboclo, the 20th pick of the 2014 draft, to the Sacramento Kings for Malachi Richardson, the No.22 pick of the 2016 draft. Both players are still development projects, but Ujiri said trading Caboclo – a pending free agent – was an acknowledgement that his development was likely stalled here in Toronto as other young wing players passed him on the depth chart. Richardson projects as a cheap depth piece with some upside, a low risk move. Other teams were taking wild risks at the deadline, specifically the Cleveland Cavaliers who shipped out six rotation players and a first-round pick to add four rotation players with an aim of shifting their trajectory from a team that has lost 13 out of their past 20 games and consistently been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Ujiri says Cleveland’s burst of activity, doesn’t change his outlook on the Cavaliers’ prospects. The presence of James makes them a threat, regardless of their regular-season record or the talent surrounding him.
Ujiri hints at post-trade deadline ‘drama,’ ‘surprises’ to come
Sportsnet | Feb 9