The Wizards have offered their top front-office job to Nuggets president Tim Connelly, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets in conjuction with The Athletic’s David Aldridge and Fred Katz.
The Wizards have offered Connelly a four-year contract that is in the ballpark financially of what Connelly was seeking, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. Connelly was looking for a five-year deal but is seriously mulling the offer, Mannix adds. Connelly met today with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and advisor Mike Forde.
The four-year offer would coincide with the timeline for John Wall‘s super-max deal, Michael Lee of The Athletic notes in a tweet. Connelly or whoever takes the job will have to be creative in their roster construction due to the uncertainty of Wall’s health and his ability to return to All-Star status, Lee adds.
The Washington Post’s Candace Buckner speculated earlier on Friday that Washington would likely have to offer Connelly $4MM+ annually over five years to get him to leave Denver.
The Nuggets granted the Wizards permission to interview Connelly because of his ties to the Mid-Atlantic region and some extenuating family considerations, according to an ESPN report.
Denver could replace Connelly with GM Arturas Karnisovas if Connelly accepts the Wizards’ offer. It’s possible that draft-pick compensation could be involved if the Wizards hire Connelly away from the Nuggets, as Fred Katz of The Athletic points out.
The Wizards dismissed Ernie Grunfeld in early April. Tommy Sheppard has been running the front office on an interim basis.
Connelly has been running the Nuggets since the summer of 2013.
9:32am: Connelly will meet today with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and advisor Mike Forde, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. As Buckner explains, there has been a belief that Connelly didn’t want to interview for the job like a traditional applicant would, which is a signal that this meeting is serious.
Buckner adds (via Twitter) that Washington would likely have to offer Connelly $4MM+ annually over five years to get him to leave Denver.
7:32am: The Wizards have requested and received permission to meet with Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly to discuss their own head of basketball operations vacancy, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. League sources tell Wojnarowski that the two sides could meet as soon as Friday.
NBA teams have the right to deny their executives permission to interview for a job with a rival club, particularly if it would be perceived as a lateral move. However, as Wojnarowski explains, Connelly has “deep ties to the Mid-Atlantic region and some extenuating family considerations,” so the Nuggets won’t stop him from exploring the opportunity. The Baltimore native likely wouldn’t have considered overtures from any team besides the Wizards, Woj notes.
The Nuggets are confident in the ability of general manager Arturas Karnisovas to assume control of their basketball operations if Connelly does decide to leave Denver, sources tell Wojnarowski. Connelly was initially elevated to his position after Masai Ujiri left for Toronto under similar circumstances, so the Nuggets have been in this position before.
It’s possible that draft-pick compensation could be involved if the Wizards hire Connelly away from the Nuggets, as Fred Katz of The Athletic points out.
The Wizards, who have been in the market for a new head of basketball operations since dismissing Ernie Grunfeld before the end of the regular season, will likely have to offer a substantial raise to lure Connelly away from Denver, as Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link) and Katz observe. He’s believed to be earning a salary in the range of $2MM per year with the Nuggets.
While the Wizards have been conducting their search for Grunfeld’s replacement, Tommy Sheppard has been running the front office on an interim basis. Sheppard is under consideration for the permanent job, as are Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver and veteran executive Danny Ferry. Both Weaver and Ferry met with the Wizards for second interviews, according to reports from Katz and Shams Charania at The Athletic and Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
Cam Reddish met with the Lakers during the draft combine, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). Los Angeles owns the No. 4 overall pick and the organization apparently sent all stakeholders to the meeting. When asked who was there, Reddish replied, “Everybody, you name it.”
There are more draft notes to pass along:
- Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga) met with the Timberwolves today and the forward feels like they had a “really, really good talk,” as Dane Moore of Zone Coverage tweets. “Obviously, I think I would love playing with KAT,” Clarke said. The 22-year-old will work out for Minnesota in June.
- Clarke’s first workout will be with the Hornets and Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports (Twitter link) that the team “clearly” has interest in him. Clarke, who met with Charlotte during the combine, will also meet with the Suns, per Gina Mizell of The Athletic (Twitter link).
- Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe tweets that Clarke will work out for the Celtics. The forward also has a workout set up with the Heat, per Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Twitter link).
- Villanova’s Eric Paschall is performing some personal PR, checking through his social media to make sure he hasn’t tweeted out anything a team might deem as a red flag. “I thought I was in the clear… In today’s age, social media is everything,” Paschall said, as Mike Vorkunov of the Athletic passes along (Twitter link). Paschall has met with the Suns, Wizards, Spurs, Warriors, Nuggets and Lakers. He’ll add the Pacers to that list on Friday.
Nuggets power forward Juan Hernangomez has undergone successful surgery to repair a core muscle injury, the team announced today in a press release. The procedure was performed on Thursday morning in Philadelphia.
The Nuggets didn’t announce a recovery timetable for Hernangomez, but T.J. McBride of Mile High Sports points out (via Twitter) that the 23-year-old told reporters at season’s end that he expects to head back to Spain after two or three weeks in Denver. So it sounds as if he’ll complete his rehab in his home country before potentially suiting up for Spain in the World Cup in September.
Hernangomez was a regular part of Denver’s rotation in 2018/19, averaging 5.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a .439/.365/.767 shooting line in 70 games (19.4 MPG).
Although his overall numbers were solid, Hernangomez was far more effective in the first half of the season. He recorded 10.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG on .485/.431/.795 shooting through December 31, then was “clearly hampered” by his injury down the stretch, tweets Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.
Hernangomez will earn about $3.32MM in the final year of his rookie contract in 2019/20. He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency a year from now if he doesn’t agree to an extension with the Nuggets during the 2019 offseason.
Now that the Nuggets’ season is over after a thrilling seven-game series loss to Portland, the Wizards are ramping up their efforts to hire Denver’s current president of basketball operations Tim Connelly to the same position in Washington, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
While there were questions as to why the Wizards would wait until the Nuggets’ season was over to pursue Connelly, Standig notes that Connelly wasn’t expected to fully explore a move until the Nuggets’ playoff run ended, despite reportedly having interest in running the Wizards.
The Nuggets appear to have an extremely bright future, but Connelly is from Baltimore and began his front office career in Washington in 1996 when he was hired as intern before working his way up to director of player personnel under then-general manager and Wizards’ legend Wes Unseld.
The Nuggets have been in a similar situation as this before. Back in 2013, Nuggets’ GM Masai Ujiri took the same position with the Raptors after team owner Stan Kroenke acquiesced to Ujiri’s desire to return to Toronto. It will interesting to see if a similar situation will arise with Connelly and the Wizards.
While the Sixers and Celtics suffered disappointing losses in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and face uncertain futures, both teams can at least fall back on the fact that they’re still loaded with draft assets. Philadelphia and Boston are two of only three NBA teams – the Hawks are the other – that possess at least four picks in the 2019 NBA draft.
As our full 2019 draft order shows, there are five other teams that more than two selections in this year’s draft. On the other end of the spectrum, nine teams own just one pick in 2018, while two teams – the Nuggets and Rockets – don’t have any selections.
To present a clearer picture of which teams are most – and least – stocked with picks for the 2019 NBA draft, we’ve rounded up all 60 picks by team in the space below. Let’s dive in…
Teams with more than two picks:
- Atlanta Hawks (5): 8, 10, 35, 41, 44
- Philadelphia 76ers (5): 24, 33, 34, 42, 54
- Boston Celtics (4): 14, 20, 22, 51
- New Orleans Pelicans (3): 1, 39, 57
- Charlotte Hornets (3): 12, 36, 52
- Brooklyn Nets (3): 17, 27, 31
- San Antonio Spurs (3): 19, 29, 49
- Sacramento Kings (3): 40, 47, 60
Teams with two picks:
- New York Knicks: 3, 55
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 5, 26
- Phoenix Suns: 6, 32
- Chicago Bulls: 7, 38
- Minnesota Timberwolves: 11, 43
- Detroit Pistons: 15, 45
- Orlando Magic: 16, 46
- Indiana Pacers: 18, 50
- Utah Jazz: 23, 53
- Golden State Warriors: 28, 58
- Los Angeles Clippers: 48, 56
Teams with one pick:
- Memphis Grizzlies: 2
- Los Angeles Lakers: 4
- Washington Wizards: 9
- Miami Heat: 13
- Oklahoma City Thunder: 21
- Portland Trail Blazers: 25
- Milwaukee Bucks: 30
- Dallas Mavericks: 37
- Toronto Raptors: 59
Teams with no picks:
- Denver Nuggets
- Houston Rockets
- Matt Schubert of The Denver Post identifies a few players who might be free agent targets for the Nuggets this summer. While Denver will be able to open up some cap room, the team is unlikely to have more than about $18MM available even without Paul Millsap on the books. As such, some of Schubert’s proposed targets – including Khris Middleton – may be long shots.
An MRI on Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood‘s left knee showed no structural damage and he’ll be listed as day-to-day for the Western Conference Finals, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Hood suffered a bone bruise when he ran into a pick set by the Nuggets’ Torrey Craig during Portland’s Game 7 victory on Sunday. Hood, who enters unrestricted free agency this summer, was a major factor off the bench in the series against the Nuggets. He averaged 14.7 PPG in the conference semifinals.
- Veteran forward Paul Millsap is intent on helping a team win a championship, whether it’s the Nuggets or another contending franchise, as he told Mike Singer of the Denver Post. The team holds a $30MM option on Millsap’s contract for next season. “We’ve proved everybody wrong,” the 34-year-old Millsap said. “For me, not really trying to prove everybody wrong, but prove to myself that I can do it my way and still win. I can do it with whoever I want to do it with. It ain’t got to be the Golden State Warriors of the Lakers or whatever. I can help a young, talented team reach that goal.”
New Cavaliers coach John Beilein is expected to meet with former Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff to gauge Bickerstaff’s interest in becoming his associate head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Bickerstaff met with Cleveland’s front office and was also a candidate for the Lakers job before they hired Frank Vogel.
Bickerstaff may not be the only candidate the Cavaliers interviewed who could potentially join Beilein’s staff. They will likely hire at least one other from that pool, Joe Vardon of The Athletic reports.
Cleveland stunned the basketball world on Monday by plucking the 66-year-old Beilein out of the college ranks and naming the University of Michigan head man as its head coach.
GM Koby Altman conducted an extensive search, interviewing at least 10 other candidates, mostly NBA assistants. Among that group, Alex Jensen (Utah), Jamahl Mosley (Dallas) and Jordi Fernandez (Denver) are candidates to wind up on Beilein’s staff, as is Nate Tibbetts (Portland), who was expected to get an interview until the Cavs focused on the Wolverines coach.
Beilein is on board with having seasoned NBA assistants on the bench, Vardon continues, but wants to chat with potential candidates to find out which would be the best fits.
Vardon also added these nuggets in his story:
- There was already mutual interest between the Cavs and Beilein when assistant GM and West Virginia alum Mike Gansey visited his former college coach at the Final Four in Minneapolis on April 6. Beilein was not viewed as a leading candidate for the job at the time mainly because the Cleveland brass doubted Beilein would leave Michigan.
- Altman and his staff quietly interviewed Beilein last week. Later in the week, Beilein met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who lives in suburban Detroit. Beilein emerged as the Cavs’ choice after that meeting.
- The youth and fluidity of the Cavs’ roster intrigued Beilein. It gives Beilein a chance to mold the team to his liking, as he’s done previously in his college stops.