Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is pursuing Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri to take over as the top basketball executive of the Toronto Raptors, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Masai, the 2013 NBA Executive of the Year, has emerged as the top choice of the search firm – Korn/Ferry International – that's been charged with finding a successor to Raptors president Bryan Colangelo, league sources said.

MLSE has until Monday to make a decision on Colangelo's contract option for next year. It is possible that he could stay with the franchise under a new top basketball official.

Ujiri's contract as Denver's general manager expires this summer and he has been in talks with ownership on an extension. Ujiri, 42, has a strong bond with Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke, but new MLSE top executive, Tim Leiweke, has expressed a desire to make a serious financial and organizational commitment to an elite executive to turn around the franchise.

Ujiri has developed into the most well-respected and sought-after executive in sports. Ujiri is the first African-born GM in North American sports, and his ascension to stardom from modest beginnings has become something of league folklore.