New Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly will make some additions to the team’s front office, starting with longtime Magic executive Matt Lloyd.
However, Connelly made it clear during his introductory press conference on Tuesday that he’s certainly not looking to clean house or make any major, immediate changes to the way the franchise is run, joking that his plan is to “get out of the way (and) hope I don’t mess it up too much,” according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic and Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.
“I’m not joining a team that’s broken,” Connelly said. “This is a team that’s trending in the right direction. It’s made a ton of really, really smart decisions, most recently extending (head coach) Chris (Finch) and getting Pat Beverley on the additional one-year (contract). So I’m not here to impede progress, I’m here to promote it, and I’m hopeful that I can learn a ton from the people in the building, and hopefully I can add a little bit of my knowledge to what’s already a very strong core of people.”
Connelly acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to leave Denver for Minnesota, suggesting there were “a lot of sleepless nights” as he weighed the decision. But he believes the Timberwolves have a have a chance to “do something special,” which helped sell him on the move.
Of course, the financial aspect of the Wolves’ offer was also a major selling point, though sources confirmed to The Athletic that Connelly doesn’t technically have a stake in the team’s ownership. His deal calls for him to “benefit financially” if the value of the franchise increases over the life of his contract, per Krawczynski.
“Basically he’s on a bonus program, just like a lot of people are,” majority owner Glen Taylor said when asked about the equity aspect of Connelly’s contract. “If the team does well, he does better.”
Here’s more on the Wolves:
- Giving Karl-Anthony Towns a super-max extension this offseason should be a no-brainer decision for Connelly, but determining what to do with D’Angelo Russell will be a trickier call, Chip Scoggins of The Star Tribune contends. Russell is also extension-eligible as he enters the final year of his current contract, and looks like a possible trade candidate. “I don’t know how or what our roster is going to look like on draft night or into free agency, but certainly this team doesn’t win 46 games without the contributions of them both,” Connelly said during his first media session, per Hine. “It’ll be fun to get to know both guys.”
- Hiring Connelly away from Denver is part of a push by incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore to make the club a “world-class” organization, writes La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune. “We want to be first in class in every category,” Rodriguez said this week. “From an arena, to personnel to players, to medical staff, to physical therapy and everything in between. The Minnesota people deserve that. They are starving for a winner and we are going to bring them that.”
- Michael Rand of The Star Tribune takes a look at three paths Connelly could take with the Timberwolves’ roster this offseason and beyond.