Minnesota Timberwolves emerge as threat to poach Nuggets president Tim Connelly, sources say

The Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as a potential threat to poach Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, league sources told The Denver Post.

The Timberwolves identified a list of four big-name GMs — Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, Golden State’s Bob Myers, Toronto’s Masai Ujiri and Connelly — to fill their vacancy, according to a person with direct knowledge of discussions. And the Nuggets’ long-time president was deemed the most “gettable,” from a financial standpoint, according to another source.

Nuggets governor Josh Kroenke did not respond to requests for comment on the situation.

Connelly, according to sources, is in an option year of his contract.

His tenure in Denver began in 2013 after his predecessor, Ujiri, left for a more lucrative offer from the Raptors. In the ensuing years, Connelly has built a team on the verge of title contention and has established one of the most functioning organizations in the NBA.

From franchise cornerstone and back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic to coach Michael Malone, the fifth-longest tenured coach in the league, Connelly’s run has been marked by stability and success. The Nuggets have made the playoffs each of the past four seasons under his watch, advancing to the second round three of those four years, including a Western Conference Finals appearance in the Orlando bubble in 2020.

It’s not the first time that Connelly has drawn interest from an outside team over the last three years. The Washington Wizards pursued Connelly for their president of basketball operations position in 2019. But it may be the strongest overture he’s had yet.

The Athletic first reported Minnesota’s interest in hiring Connelly on Wednesday.

Footnotes. Nuggets rookie Bones Hyland was named second-team All-Rookie on Wednesday. The No. 26 pick made second-team alongside Herbert Jones, Josh Giddey, Ayo Dosunmu and Chris Duarte. He averaged 10.1 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds over 69 games played this season. … The Sacramento Kings announced the hiring of former Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez, one of Michael Malone’s most trusted coaches on staff.


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