The Nuggets and GM Tim Connelly have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Connelly’s front-office staff, including assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, will also receive new contracts, sources told Wojnarowski. The Nuggets confirmed the extensions in a press release.
Connelly and his staff have earned the trust of Denver president Josh Kroenke as they work to reconfigure the roster under first-year coach Michael Malone, Wojnarowski continues. Through trades, Connelly has acquired three potential lottery-protected first-round picks over the next two drafts, Wojnarowski points out.
Connelly drafted center Jusuf Nurkic in the first round in 2014 and point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in the lottery last summer. During Connelly’s tenure since he replaced Masai Ujiri in 2013, he also traded for starting shooting guard Will Barton and reached extensions with small forwards Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler and power forward Kenneth Faried.
Connelly has focused on unearthing talent that others have overlooked and that strategy has led the Nuggets to draft many international players, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post recently reported. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis in international scouting. … We want to be very well informed with any player in the world,” Connelly told Dempsey. “Certainly the more well informed we are, hopefully we make better decisions. It just so happens that when we’ve selected guys, signed guys, traded for guys, we’ve had a pretty big international influence.”
Connelly was the Pelicans’ assistant GM for three years prior to joining the Nuggets. He came through the ranks with the Wizards, working for that franchise for 10 years.
“Over the past few years Tim, Arturas, and the rest of our front office staff have worked tirelessly in reshaping our roster and our entire organizational vision for the future,” Kroenke said in the release. “Whether through the draft, trades, or free agency, we have an excellent mix of players and are extremely well positioned moving forward.”