Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has made a steady ascension to the upper echelon of pro basketball executives.

In 2010, the NBA's Denver Nuggets hired the Nigeria native as their executive vice president of basketball operations, making him the first African-born man put in charge of a major professional sports team in the United States.

Ujiri was immediately forced to deal with the trade request of disgruntled star forward Carmelo Anthony, who had turned down a contract extension from the team. Ujiri eventually dealt Anthony to the New York Knicks in February 2011 as part of a remodelling of the Nuggets that culminated with Ujiri's peers voting him the NBA's executive of the year for 2012-13 after Denver went 57-25 in the regular season.

Ujiri, who earlier in his career had been the Raptors' director of global scouting and later their assistant GM, rejoined the team in May 2013 as executive vice president of basketball operations, signing a five-year, $15 million US contract.

The gallery above shows some of the players involved in Ujiri's notable moves as an NBA GM.