(CNN) — The Toronto Raptors’ relationship with Masai Ujiri has drawn the scrutiny of Raptors superfan “The Ringer” after several sources reportedly revealed a “patronage network” that involves top team executives.
Ujiri, the team’s general manager, and Dan Mannix, The Ringer’s man in Toronto, are raising eyebrows amid speculation that Rogers, the team’s billionaire owner, was ready to fire him to help get rid of former president and general manager Bryan Colangelo.
The site first released Ujiri’s name late last week after it obtained emails that showed Mannix had sources inside the Raptors’ front office and World Wrestling Entertainment executive Triple H’s camp at Madison Square Garden who had access to much of the the team’s confidential information.
The site sent Maizen Gilding over to Toronto, where she spoke with two insiders who told her a “patronage network” exists, one involving two “bureaucratic layers” of executives.
Those sources reportedly said while Ujiri wanted to fire him last year, Mannix’s role at The Ringer changed the owners’ mind.
Rumors the Raptors wanted to trade for Carmelo Anthony, who recently ended up on the Denver Nuggets, had been swirling last week.
The website first reported Colangelo being let go in a June 8, 2015, article titled “The Toronto Raptors are going straight to the back of the playoff line.”
However, when discussing those details Mannix told Gilding that “Everything is dynamic. That’s part of the game.”
He also reportedly told her he only received emails from Ujiri.