The ability of the Raptors to construct a consistently successful roster that can compete for a championship is thanks in no small part to astute drafting and player development — and that’s not lost on rival NBA teams.
It’s made general manager Bobby Webster an intriguing candidate to help rebuild at least one other team.
According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bulls are interested in talking to Webster about a job that would give him total say over basketball operations with an organization that hasn’t seen the playoffs in three seasons. The Bulls are expected to ask for permission to interview Webster, Denver GM Arturas Karnisovas, Indiana GM Chad Buchanan and Miami assistant GM Adam Simon for the job of resurrecting the once-great program.
Whether that permission will be granted by the Raptors or any of the other teams is unclear, but reports from Chicago say the Bulls would like to have a new franchise leader in place before the NBA resumes the suspended 2019-20 season. The job would be all-encompassing, with full say in everything from the way the front office is structured down to the selection of a coaching staff.
It should come as no surprise that the 36-year-old Webster would be considered. Since the native of Hawaii was brought to Toronto by club president Masai Ujiri in 2013 — Ujiri’s first hiring after his return from the Denver Nuggets — the Raptors have been one of the most successful teams in the league.
Webster was originally hired as vice-president of basketball management, was promoted to assistant GM and became GM in 2017, when Ujiri took the sole title of president.
In that time, the Raptors found gems such as Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell and OG Anunoby in the draft, developed undrafted guard Fred VanVleet after signing him as a free agent, and last summer signed promising undrafted guard Terence Davis.
Webster has worked hand-in-hand with Ujiri, current director of player personnel Dan Tolzman and former GM Jeff Weltman in the front office.
The Bulls front office is currently led by executive vice-president John Paxson, who is in favour of a structure change and would likely remain in an advisory role, according to reports. Current Bulls GM Gar Forman has been primarily handling scouting duties.
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Published at Fri, 03 Apr 2020 21:06:56 +0000