With the NBA draft right around the corner, Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly appeared on Altitude Sports Radio on Tuesday (SoundCloud link) and spoke to Vic Lombardi about his team’s plan for the upcoming offseason. Connelly, who suggested that he’d like the free agent period to happen before the draft, discussed the Nuggets’ approach to both of those major events on the NBA’s offseason calendar.
The interview includes a handful of interesting comments from Connelly about the Nuggets’ roster-building process, competing with the Warriors, Danilo Gallinari‘s status, and other topics. The conversation is worth checking out in full, but here are a few highlights from the Denver GM:
On the Nuggets’ approach to the draft:
“We have a handful more workouts, we’re bringing a bunch more guys at the end of this week, then watch a bunch of tape and work the phones. A large part of the analysis is done, we just have make sure our order makes sense and get a better sense of what’s going to happen before us and after us in the draft. … Anything certainly can happen, we always try to be aggressive. There’s a couple guys we’d be pretty motivated to move up for, but it’s difficult to get to certain areas of this draft. We like to make a lot of calls and see if we can’t shake up a little bit.”
On the Nuggets’ approach to free agency:
“I think we will dive in for a couple guys. Certainly our own guys are extremely important and they’re going to take priority, but there’s two or three guys I think we’ll be extremely aggressive with. What we don’t want to do is sign guys to sign guys, and don’t want to overpay for role players. There are a couple guys we think may be difference makers for us and we’ll make a good pitch to those guys. If that doesn’t work out, then we’ll essentially step back a little bit and let the market develop.”
On how the free agent process will work for the Nuggets:
“It really depends. It can take shape numerous ways. If I have a direct relationship, I’ll just reach out to the player. As you know, I’m always not the most serious guy so it would probably be through humor and gauge their interest. Sometimes, an agent will reach out to us. This offseason, it’s been encouraging, we’ve had a handful of agents reach out to us and say, ‘My guy would really like to play with Nikola Jokic.’ I think that speaks well to our future. When guys want to play with someone, it’s encouraging.”