The Toronto Raptors new general manager, Masai Ujiri, has wasted little time in stamping his mark over the squad. After arriving in a tough situation, Ujiri has performed near miracles in gaining control of the franchise’s gigantic wage bill.

The most important salary the franchise had to clear was that of Andrea Bargnani. It had become crystal clear Bargnani was not a part of the team’s future plans, made worse by the fact the Italian star was on a huge salary without producing the goods on the court.

In a trade with the New York Knicks, Ujiri cleared the Raptors’ 2006 number-one pick in exchange for Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, and Quentin Richardson. While Novak remains part of the Toronto roster, Camby was picked up by the Houston Rockets, and Richardson’s short spell with the Raptors was brought to an end after the veteran was waived.

Richardson never looked like fitting into the new-look Raptors that many younger players are attempting to build their future on, even more so when taking into consideration his decline in performance over the past couple of seasons.

The way Ujiri is going about his business could well put the Raptors in an extremely strong position going into the New Year. Next summer’s free agency looks a decidedly more exciting prospect for Raptors fans than it did before Ujiri arrived in Toronto.

After a tough few years for the franchise, the future is looking a lot brighter under the new GM. It remains to be seen just what the new season will bring – the NBA betting suggests the playoffs may still be beyond them – but those who bet on NBA might want to keep an eye on the changes being made in Toronto under Ujiri.

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