The Wizards have centered in on Tim Connelly as the top candidate to run their front office, sources tell Fred Katz of The Athletic.
Connelly, who currently serves as the Nuggets‘ president of basketball operations, grew up about an hour north in Baltimore and began his NBA career as an intern with the Wizards. He joined Denver in 2013 and recently signed an extension with the team.
While prying him from Colorado may be tricky, Katz notes that teams have been able to land coaches and executives under contract in the past, citing Doc Rivers‘ move from Boston to Los Angeles and Jason Kidd‘s journey from Brooklyn to Milwaukee.
Connelly and Tommy Sheppard are close friends dating back to their time together in Washington. Sheppard reportedly has a chance to land the GM position.
“Tommy is the first person I met with, and I reminded Tommy of what happened with the Capitals, that our No. 2 to the GM that wasn’t a known commodity, wasn’t a frontrunner. He had the best interview,” owner Ted Leonsis said today. “And the reason he had the best interview was he was the most prepared, and he knew all of the good things and all of the not good things. And so I’ve told Tommy, ‘It’s not lip service. You’re highly regarded.’ And there’s other teams that want to talk to Tommy. And when the time comes, he will interview for the top job.”
Sheppard, who most recently served as second-in-command to Ernie Grunfeld, began his career with the Nuggets, starting in public relations before eventually switching over to basketball operations. Perhaps a Connelly/Sheppard ticket could be in the works in Washington.