Huddled in a room just a few feet from the Raptors practice court, members of the media waited to meet the new general manager of the club, Bobby Webster. The room was buzzing with anticipation for the formal introduction of the 32-year-old.
The GM position became available in late May after Jeff Weltman took the president of basketball operations job with the Orlando Magic. It wasn’t perfect timing for the team with the upcoming free-agency frenzy that the Raptors face. Weltman was named GM in September and now, in June the club has another face in the position.
Dressed like a member of the Rat Pack, (which he is probably too young to know who the crooners were) the 32-year-old walked into the crowded room with Raptors president Masai Ujiri to hold his first press conference.
“We are excited to promote Bobby, Dan and Keith for their hard work and important contributions to our program,” said Ujiri. “They have been invaluable across many aspects of the franchise, making decisions on our salary management, key input on scouting, analytics, strategy, player personnel and team building that has helped us develop a winning culture throughout our organization.”
Webster was hired by Ujiri as vice president, basketball management & strategy in 2013. “Every year that I have been here Masai has given me more responsibilities. I have learned from him.” Three years after being hired he was promoted to assistant general manager/ vice president, basketball strategy.
“I know I’m young,” said Webster, the youngest GM in NBA history. “I’m probably even younger looking, but I think I have enough unique experiences that have got me here and I will continue to grow. You’re never a finished product.”
The new GM has help the Raptors rebuild. He helped build the roster that has won three consecutive Atlantic Division titles and back-to-back 50-win seasons for the first time in Raptors history.
His first few weeks on the job will be stressful with the decisions of Kyle Lowry’s contract and unrestricted free agents Serge Ibaka, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson.
The Raptors also announced that Dan Tolzman was promoted to assistant general manager/vice president, player personnel and Keith Boyarsky to vice president, basketball strategy & research.