We were all wondering, but almost dared not put the question into words: would Raptors general manager Bobby Webster, the heir apparent to president Masai Ujiri, re-sign with the team and stay in Toronto beyond this current season? As just announced today — finally — Webster and the Raptors have agreed to a multi-year contract extension to have him return as the team’s GM next season.
While the terms will not be disclosed by the team (and haven’t been discovered by any other interested parties), the news is official. From the press release, here are the quotes from team president Ujiri and now-returning GM Webster:
“I think everyone knows what Bobby brings to our organization: intelligence, poise, and creativity,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “I’m very pleased that our team will continue to benefit from his many skills for seasons to come.”
“It’s great to be able to continue the work of building the next Raptor championship team — a goal which is part of our organizational DNA,” Webster said. “I’m grateful to Larry Tanenbaum, MLSE ownership and leadership, our great players and staff, and the people of Toronto for making this my home for the past years, and for the future.”
Some context: Webster is still somehow just 36 years old despite being named as the Raptors’ GM back in June 2017. Before that, he worked his way up in Toronto as vice president of basketball management and strategy and assistant general manager. We know what he’s accomplished since then. Webster has served as Ujiri’s righthand man, helping to shape one of the more successful teams in the league over the past half-decade — culminating in Toronto’s historic championship win of 2019. If nothing else ever happens in his career, Webster can hang his hat on that accomplishment alone as a job well done.
Toronto can now breathe something of a sigh of relief. Heading into this 2020-21 season, there were still huge question marks as to the Raptors’ management structure for the following year. Both Webster and Masai were entering the last year of their contracts and it was fair to ask how or if the team would have to pivot should both decide to depart. Masai did casually mention before the start of the season that Webster’s extension was done, yet we still had to wait for official confirmation.
And while we still don’t quite have any clarity on what Ujiri will do, it’s clear Webster has been training to eventually take a seat in the big chair as team president should Masai decide to move on. At the very least, the Raptors are now in position to maintain some continuity in their management structure regardless of what Ujiri does.
Though, uh, if Masai were to announce that he too was re-signing with the Raptors on another multi-year contract, we certainly wouldn’t be mad about it.