Over at Raptors HQ, I wrote about Tim Leiweke, the President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and his impending departure from the Toronto Raptors. It’s disappointing to here that Leiweke will not be around for the long term, but Raptors fans should also wait and see who his successor will be.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
The stability of having Leiweke and Ujiri as the backbone of this team was important too. The Raptors might quietly think they have a realistic shot at Kevin Durant when he hits free agency in 2016. And who really knows if they do, or if it matters what they think at this very moment. But it’s not just about Durant. The Raptors have never been key players in free agency. But if they continue to improve, and the organization builds on the momentum of last season, by 2016, they might be an attractive destination for any of the key free agents on the open market. Maybe in two years, we’ll be a piece or two away from becoming a championship contender. It’s strange to think in those terms for this franchise, but it’s not unrealistic.
For players to want to come and play in Toronto, or anywhere for that matter, they not only want a basketball situation that makes sense, but they want as few question marks as possible when it comes to the organization. Teams that are well run — and coincidentally, the ones that are successful over a period of time — have very defined structures in their front office and how they communicate to the ownership group. Over time, it’s damaging for the team, especially one positioning itself to contend, to lack this continuity and clarity in how decisions are made. Leiweke’s role and his presence provided the Raptors with the potential of being regarded as a stable, winning environment. His departure means the team will need to fill that void once again, to make sure that the positives from Leiweke’s tenure here don’t go to waste.