Raptors president Masai Ujiri isn’t losing any sleep over losing Kawhi Leonard in free agency.
In his first public comments since Leonard reportedly signed with the Clippers on a three-year, $103 million contract in free agency, Ujiri expressed the utmost confidence in his organization as he reiterated Toronto will be fine without one of the league’s best players.
“This is the NBA and this is how it works. I always say there’s no time to go out and cry,” Ujiri told reporters. “You can’t hide under a table and cry. Honestly, I’ve lost no sleep, I’m not disappointed. It’s on to the next.
“I’m telling Raptors fans and everybody: Don’t lose one day of sleep, one second of sleep. We’re gonna be just fine.”
Ujiri explained that he was confident that Toronto would retain the NBA Finals MVP through free-agency negotiations, but also said that he’s not naive to how the process works.
“Free agency doesn’t change. He definitely has our blessings. He gave it everything while he was with us and we really appreciated that,” Ujiri said. “I communicated with him afterward and it was very good. We got a great deal out of this, we won a championship so we’re happy.
“I appreciate what the process was and I know free agency, this was not my first rodeo, so things are going to go up and down and this was a different kind of free agency. It was high stakes and we understood that.”
Ujiri said multiple times that he’s confident with where the Raptors stand now, and the focus will shift to developing their young players.
“Everybody feels very confident,” Ujiri added. “Our team is set up very well, and we’re confident with the guys that we have and obviously going forward, we have the requirements of what a team needs to tackle what’s next.
“I know the young guys on our team will develop. We’ve created a place where people want to come to play.”
Leonard led the Raptors to their first NBA championship this past season, defeating the Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals. The three-time All-Star played an integral role, averaging 30.5 points with 9.1 assists per game during the postseason.