Toronto Raptors Mastermind Contracts COVID-19

The man who's most responsible for bringing an NBA Championship to the Toronto Raptors has contracted COVID-19, according to NBA Insider Shams Charania. 

This news quickly followed the announcement that the Raptors and Indiana Pacers had canceled their practices out of an "abundance of caution".

The Raptors are currently at the bottom of the Atlantic Division with a record of 11-14, so hopefully, the illness doesn't prohibit Masai from evaluating his team and working the phones too much. The 2022 NBA trade deadline is just around the corner, set to take place on February 10, so the clock is ticking for Raps' management to decide if they're buying or selling with the pieces they have.

Masai is known for making bold moves, ever since he traded Demar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard back on July 18, 2018. Leonard was a disgruntled and injury-prone superstar who was rumored to be disliked (to say the least) by many in the San Antonio organization from which he came. DeRozan, who was a long-tenured veteran and fan-favorite, recently opened up about the move, saying it "hurt like sh**". 

The trade resulted in the Raptors' point guard and team leader Kyle Lowry not speaking to Masai for a period of time. The final result, however, was the Larry O'Brien trophy being paraded through the streets of Toronto, and Kawhi being the well-deserved winner of Finals MVP. 

Masai's temerity didn't end there, as he recently traded Lowry to the Chicago Bulls in a move that was later punished by the league after an investigation into allegations of tampering. 

As the Raps are currently mired in mediocrity, or the so-called "re-tooling" phase, it seems unlikely that another big splash is coming this year. Though it shouldn't come as a surprise if they make a play for Miles Turner, as the floor-spacing post-defender might be the long-term answer they seek to their apparent problems with consistency at the five position.

With the Canadian government no longer allowing non-vaccinated players to enter the Great White North come January 15, as well teams going to such precautions as canceling practices, there doesn't seem to be cause for concern with the further spread of the infection among the Raptors. That's fortunate for Toronto fans, especially with players like Scottie Barnes looking to be among the finalists for some NBA hardware when the individual awards are handed out.

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports