NBA’s Raptors Remove Colangelo as General Manager Under Leiweke

The Toronto Raptors changed their front-office structure, stripping Bryan Colangelo of his duties overseeing the team’s basketball operations while extending his contract as president.

The moves came at the direction of Tim Leiweke, who last month became president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., which owns the National Basketball Association franchise.

The Raptors are searching for a general manager, who will have final authority on all basketball-related decisions, the team said in a statement.

Colangelo, a two-time NBA Executive of the Year who joined Toronto in February 2006 as both president and GM, will report to Leiweke, advising him on basketball-related matters and broadening his focus on business issues. Terms of his contract extension as president weren’t disclosed.

Leiweke said on a conference call today with reporters that he gave Colangelo high marks for his work in the Toronto community.

“On basketball, I think we all know that there is great debate about decisions made in the past eight years, and particular in the last five years not making the playoffs,” Leiweke said. “There is accountability here. We need a new set of eyes and a new thinking toward how we, from a basketball standpoint, go forward.”

Colangelo is also free to explore jobs with other franchises, Leiweke said.

The Raptors went 34-48 last season and haven’t qualified for the postseason since 2008.

Toronto has identified Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri as a top candidate to become its own general manager, CBSSports.com reported, citing unnamed league sources. Ujiri was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year earlier this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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