In general manager Calvin Booth, the Nuggets have a logical in-house replacement for Tim Connelly should their current president of basketball operations decide he wants to leave Denver to run the Timberwolves‘ front office, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. The Wolves are said to be in the market for a big-name basketball executive and are reportedly courting Connelly.
However, for the Nuggets, it’s not just as simple as wishing Connelly well and promoting Booth, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post (all Twitter links), who says there’s a lot of “angst” within the organization over the situation.
Connelly has had a significant impact on the Nuggets’ culture, empowering coaches, staffers, and players while creating a positive work environment, says Singer, adding that no one wants to see him go and there are people under Connelly who have taken less money to stay with the team. Connelly has also earned a significant amount of trust from Denver’s players, including Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, per Singer.
According to Stein, there’s some skepticism around the NBA that Connelly will view the Minnesota opportunity more favorably than his current situation in Denver, where the two-time reigning MVP is on the verge of signing a long-term extension. However, if the Wolves offer significantly more money or an ownership stake, Connelly will have a tough decision to make. It will be interesting to see if the Kroenkes, the Nuggets’ owners, step up to retain him, says Singer.
Here are a few more front office and coaching notes from around the NBA:
- After previously reporting that Mike D’Antoni appeared to be in a strong position to land the Hornets‘ coaching job, Stein says there has been some “push-back” on that report this week, as some sources in coaching circles believe team owner Michael Jordan may be wary of hiring such an offense-first coach.
- Nets director of player development Adam Harrington isn’t likely to return to the team for 2022/23, according to Stein. Harrington has worked closely with Kevin Durant over the last three years and his impending departure hadn’t been expected, Stein adds.
- Kelly Iko of The Athletic identifies Rio Grande Valley Vipers coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah as a strong candidate for one of the open assistant jobs on Stephen Silas‘ Rockets staff. A report this week said that Rockets assistants Jeff Hornacek and Will Weaver won’t be back for next season.