Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri accepts position with Toronto

DENVER, May 31, 2013 – Denver Nuggets Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has informed the organization that he has accepted a position with the Toronto Raptors, Nuggets President Josh Kroenke announced today.

Ujiri, who was named the 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year, spent the past three seasons with the Nuggets after joining the front office August 2010. Prior to that, he worked for the Raptors as their director of global scouting and assistant general manager. Ujiri also was an international scout for the Nuggets from 2003-07.

"I appreciate everything Masai has done since re-joining the Nuggets in 2010," Kroenke said. "Over the past two and a half years, he and I have spent countless hours working together to tackle some of the toughest challenges in franchise history.

"I have tremendous admiration for him as a colleague and will always consider him to be a great friend. Our search for a new executive will begin immediately, and I will make an announcement once that process is concluded.

In preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft, Kroenke will work closely with vice president of basketball operations Pete D’Alessandro, director of player personnel Mike Bratz, scout Herb Livsey and scouting coordinator Dan Tolzman.

Prior to his departure, Ujiri issued a statement expressing his gratitude to the Nuggets.

"First and foremost, I would like to thank Stan and Josh Kroenke for the opportunity they have given me over the past three years," Ujiri said. "It was a very difficult decision to leave Denver, but the Nuggets remain in good hands. I’d also like to thank the coaching staff for their work and the fans for their support and dedication. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the city of Denver and the Nuggets as an organization.

"Working for and with Josh on a day-to-day basis is something I will always value. We both learned and grew so much. Without him, this opportunity might have never happened. He always said that he would never stand in the way of the only other job I cherished. He's a class act and Denver is a class organization."