Despite reportedly receiving an offer from his hometown Wizards to run their front office, Tim Connelly has elected to remain in Denver as the Nuggets‘ president of basketball operations, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
Connelly was long rumored to be Washington’s top candidate to replace Ernie Grunfeld this spring, and after his Nuggets were eliminated from the postseason, Connelly agreed to meet with the Wizards. There was a sense that the veteran executive wouldn’t have been receptive to overtures from any other team, but his ties to the D.C. area made the Wizards’ job intriguing.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and advisor Mike Forde reportedly met with Connelly on Friday, and reports indicated that the team offered a four-year contract that was in the ballpark of what Connelly was seeking financially. However, there are conflicting reports on that front, with some sources telling Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link) that the Wizards never extended a formal offer, despite discussing the job with Connelly.
According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Connelly was impressed with Leonsis’ vision for the Wizards, but Nuggets president Josh Kroenke made an “aggressive case” to retain his president of basketball operations over the weekend. As Chris Dempsey of Nuggets.com tweets, Connelly has been big on finishing what he started in Denver and wants to try to keep improving a team that came within a game of reaching the Western Conference Finals this season.
Connelly has been the Nuggets’ head of basketball operations since Masai Ujiri‘s departure in 2013. After first assuming the role of general manager, he was later promoted to the president of basketball operations position, with right-hand man Arturas Karnisovas sliding into the GM job. Karnisovas was viewed as Connelly’s likely replacement if he had accepted the Wizards’ offer, but it appears both men will continue on with the Nuggets.
As for the Wizards, they have interviewed several other candidates for their head of basketball operations job. Thunder executive Troy Weaver and former Hawks and Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry have each reportedly met twice with Washington. Tommy Sheppard, who is running the Wizards’ front office on an interim basis, is also a candidate to secure the position on a permanent basis.
Wojnarowski tweets that the Wizards will likely turn back to that short list now that Connelly is out of the running.