Bryan Colangelo out as Raptors GM, stays as president

Bryan Colangelo is out as general manager of the Raptors, but will stay with the team as president....

Bryan Colangelo is out as general manager of the Raptors, but will stay with the team as president. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI Agency/Files)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:30 PM ET

TORONTO - Bryan Colangelo is now officially off the clock as Toronto’s chief basketball decision-maker. But he’ll be sticking around – at least for the time being.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke made it official on Tuesday morning that Colangelo, the long-time president/general manager, is finished as GM, but will be retained as Raptors president.

However, the new general manager – to be named within the next 30 days, according to Leiweke – will make the basketball decisions and report directly to Leiweke, who made it clear Colangelo will have to adapt to this new situation … or else.

"There is accountability here. We need a new set of eyes and a new thinking about … how we go forward,” Leiweke said on the call.

"We have work to do this in the organization. We're not good enough. I still think Bryan can help in a lot of those areas."

He will be starting on June 3, rather than July 1, at the suggestion of the MLSE board and made it clear he is in charge of the search for the new GM. A search firm has been hired merely for background due diligence.

Leiweke said he respects Colangelo and didn’t just want to throw that away. He said Colangelo could be valuable, given his background at helping build Toronto’s brand, making the franchise Canada’s team, instead of just Toronto’s.

A name/branding change could be in the offing down the line and the franchise is still eager to land the 2016 NBA all-star game during its 20th anniversary season.

“Bryan is skilled, knowledgeable and respected across the NBA and will be a resource that we count on to help build the Raptors into Canada’s team,” Leiweke said.

Leiweke admitted that the tight timeline played a part in the decision to retain Colangelo.

He said “it’s a bit of a unique situation, but given the timing, his choices, this is in everyone’s best interest to make this work.”

Colangelo is free to take another basketball decision-making job elsewhere should one arise.

In the meantime, Leiweke said Colangelo will have to “take a deep breath” at times, realizing that he no longer is the one holding the keys in the organization.

"Bryan's probably ticked off at me. There's no probably. He's ticked off at me,” Leiweke said.

The fate of Dwane Casey and his staff remains unclear.

Assistant GM Ed Stefanski is a candidate to replace Colangelo and Leiweke’s list is about 12 names, though he doesn’t expect to receive permission to speak to all of them.

On the call, Leiweke also said he has been given the “green light” to spend on infrastructure, which might include upgrading or building a new practice facility, in order to help attract players.

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