6:06pm: The Timberwolves have officially named Connelly their president of basketball operations, according to a team press release.
“We are thrilled to announce Tim Connelly as the next leader of our basketball operations department and welcome his family to the Twin Cities,” the team said in a statement attributed to ownership. “He brings a wealth of NBA front office experience with various franchises. We look forward to building upon our most recent playoff run and bringing more success to Timberwolves fans for years to come.”
“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Timberwolves organization,” Connelly said in a statement. “I appreciate Glen, Becky, Marc and Alex’s confidence in me to lead this organization and I can’t wait to get to work to build an elite franchise that our fans can continue to be proud of.”
2:28pm: Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly will be leaving Denver for Minnesota, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), who reports that Connelly and the Timberwolves have agreed to a deal that will make him one of the NBA’s highest-paid executives.
Connelly’s new contract as the Wolves’ president of basketball operations will cover five years and will be worth $40MM, per Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The agreement will also include a kicker for ownership equity, The Athletic’s duo adds.
After Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez initiated talks with Connelly and presented him with a preliminary offer, the longtime Nuggets executive flew to Minnesota on Saturday and had a four-hour meeting with majority owner Glen Taylor, according to The Athletic (Twitter link). Taylor signed off on the offer, and Connelly subsequently took two full days to deliberate before accepting the job on Monday.
Connelly had been the head of basketball operations in Denver since 2013, following Masai Ujiri‘s departure for Toronto. He reportedly had a significant impact on the Nuggets’ culture, empowering coaches, staffers, and players while creating a positive work environment.
His loyalty to Denver and his comfort level with Nuggets ownership made it a difficult decision to leave for Minnesota, according to Charania and Krawczynski, who say Connelly’s new contract more than doubles his previous salary — the equity component also makes the deal substantially more lucrative.
Mike Singer of The Denver Post confirms that financial compensation was a significant factor in Connelly’s decision to leave Denver and join a division rival, since he hadn’t been eager to depart. According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the Nuggets made a bid to retain Connelly that would’ve significantly increased his salary, but Woj describes the ownership equity in Minnesota as “life-changing money” for the veteran executive.
The Wolves, who dismissed Gersson Rosas shortly before the 2021/22 season began, had been in the market for a big-name executive to fill the president of basketball operations role on a permanent basis. With Lore and Rodriguez expected to take over majority control of the franchise in 2023, they wanted to “change the narrative” around a team that has often been overlooked nationally, according to Charania and Krawczynski.
Executive VP of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, who ran the Timberwolves’ front office on an interim basis following Rosas’ ouster, remains part of the long-term vision in Minnesota, sources tell The Athletic. While Connelly will likely make some hires of his own, it sounds as if there are no plans to move on from Gupta or head coach Chris Finch, who was previously an assistant coach in Denver.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, are considered likely to promote general manager Calvin Booth to run their front office, Charania reports (via Twitter).
The club has produced a series of successful basketball executives across the last decade, including Ujiri, Connelly, and Arturas Karnisovas, the GM in Denver before leaving to become the Bulls’ president of basketball operations. There’s a belief within the organization that Booth – a rising talent well-respected around the NBA – is capable of carrying that torch going forward, Charania notes.
19 thoughts on “Tim Connelly Named Timberwolves’ President Of Basketball Operations”
Big hire. Potentially franchise-changing
Timberwolves franchise changing moment came a couple yrs ago when they won the lottery & picked Ant Edwards. This team is already on the right trajectory (as this season just proved)
I agree they are already on the right trajectory
Now I know NOTHING about Connelly, but was he the one that settled on Aaron Gordon and (paying )MPJr that much to finish off Denver’s roster?
If so, I don’t see that as a boon….. Heard he’s a good scout. Minny’s at a stage where they need to finish off their roster tho not kill the draft- Kinda like Denver pre 21 trade deadline…Id want better results than AGordon if Im Minny
Ofc there’s not a direct parallel and it’s way less cut and dry than my post implies
You think they lost the Gordon trade or should have let MPJ walk?
Well ofc it’s more complex to me ….they had $$slots to fill around the best player in the league and well they are what they are today.
Now I give your MPJr was a VERY complex situation
And injs have recent bias working a tad
But still, they had Joker, some nice cheap players and some wiggle room not so long ago….Now, well they are the 2023 Nuggets…A good team, especially w Joker but I think there was a lot of potential for better heading into next year. By no means do I think Denvers front office was incompetent, it’s always been a tight squeeze over there come decision time
** And it’s not so much I fear 2023 Nugs, they’ll be good , probably really good if fully healthy, I just wonder about Jokers next 7 years if/when he stays there.
There’s a TON of long term risk there Imo, can’t say the open market (or at least holding off till) wouldn’t tempt the hell outta me if I were him …
Espn once had MPJ as the #1 trades asset in the NBA… more than anyone or any pick. Of course he was cheaper then. No don’t let him walk, but Cmon trade the guy & get something. Realistically commitment to MPJ chased Jerami Grant off too, though he will never say. They spent a first to get Grant.
Overpays. DEN has not got much or much health for Barton, and recently Gordon did not come through when it was his time.
I also think surrounding Jokic with shooters is using a strategy designed for someone else— smart slashers would be better— but I am getting in to IMO.
The claim is that Connelly was hired on a “feel-good” basis… empowerment, environment, etc. Well then. Good place to work I guess. Wolves fans are not custom to greatness.
Good points X, especially w Grant
Yea I was kinda angling on trading MPJr as well at optimal value but it feels a bit pretentious fully typing out 2 years later
But Ill Fully admit it’s easier to say in hindsight than do at the time. It’s actually really really hard Id Imagine to pull that string push comes to shove, good chance it could be your job later . We are safe in HR Land
True, Nuggets management would have had to change course abruptly, even changed their philosophy of drating pure talent and being patient. They have been so stoked over Porter, while I and others have ripped him steadily since his 2018 draft.
This is the article for his max extension in 2021. Note the divisiveness in the comments. I said the offer showed young DEN was falling already.
link to hoopsrumors.com
DEN would have looked a bit silly trading him after picking him first, but the return potential was so great! That only seemed to inspire DEN to max him all the more eagerly. They would have gotten support moving him on b/c his bad spine was known since HS.
Maybe we are not safe in HR land, nice dig up
Guess my pretentious line is void- I did say about everything in your first post back then and was pretty harsh on him
But I’ve always been low on him, mixed room back then . Im surprised so many people were actually anti-max in that thread tbh. I thought re-opening it up it would be a Love- fest for the young kid
On the upswing, but also starting to get more expensive, where it becomes harder and harder to bring in additional talent above the vet min.
As I said
It goes down to money
Trade DLo to upgrade
DLo and two Future Firsts for Wiggins
I’ll congratulate Connelly, and wish MIN good luck with this hire. Just on the basketball merits, it’s hard to see the case for giving Connelly a package like this. Perhaps there are non-basketball reasons that make it work for the two ownership groups.
Nuggets can hire Rosas
Rosas May be better than Calvin Booth
Booth may be better than Rosas
Just remember that Rosas gave the Kuminga pick to GSW
Connelly came from the last time they lost a GM. Calvin Booth maybe better we shall see. I hope he gets the opportunity to be promoted it worked the last 2 times!
I posted long on May 4th about Booth & DEN. I’m not sure he was intended for in charge… probably was hired as a Nugget legend… But then, DEN did need to change course, so it could work.
Who could predict all these execs getting poached… The team has been good but not breakthrough.
Players have always done this recently. Dancing around like kids