In the end, winning in the NBA comes down to money. Either a team is willing to spend what it takes to compete for a championship or they aren’t. Period, end of story and Raptors president Masai Ujiri has finally, reluctantly, admitted that this is how things are done.
According to Spotrac, the Raptors head into training camp with the league’s third highest salary commitment and a potential Luxury Tax bill exceeding $50 million.
“I think it’s even more important to say, to give props to our owners,” Ujiri responded to Pro Bball Report at Media Day. “They’ve given us this opportunity and that’s not the easiest thing to do, but I think it shows a commitment to winning.”
And it’s about time. After making Ujiri jump thru hoops to avoid paying Luxury Taxes in previous seasons, ownership has allowed the Raptors to hold onto their depth, add talent and take risks that could significantly add to payroll next year. This is what it takes to compete for a championship and come next July, this is what it will take to convince a superstar player like Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with their team.
“If you go by history and you go by numbers, I think there are very very few teams that have ever done it without this kind of commitment,” Ujiri admitted.
It may not be easy to be heard over the hype coming out of Boston, but the Toronto Raptors are finally, yes finally, serious about going on a championship run this season. With a payroll that rivals the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, this organization has, for the first time, put their massive financial resources behind their team.
No longer is the goal to merely end the embarrassment of being one of the NBA doormats (2008-2013), making the playoffs, winning 50 games in the regular season or even finishing first in the East.
Money talks and BS walks and the Raptors are finally spending to win this season.