18:06: According to a team press release, the Timberwolves have officially named Connelly President of Basketball Operations.
“We are very excited to announce Tim Connelly as the next head of our basketball division and to welcome his family to the Twin Cities.” said Timberwolves Ownership. “He brings a wealth of NBA front office experience across multiple franchises. We look forward to building on our last playoff run and bringing even more success to Timberwolves fans in the years to come.”
“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Timberwolves organization.” Connelly said in a statement. “I appreciate the confidence Glen, Becky, Marc and Alex have in me to lead this organization and I can’t wait to get to work building an elite franchise that our fans can continue to be proud of .”
2:28 p.m.: Nuggets President of the basketball department Tim Connelly will leave Denver for Minnesota, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link), who reports that Connelly and the wood wolves have agreed to a deal that will make him one of the highest-paid managers in the NBA.
Connelly’s new contract as Wolves’ basketball president is for five years and is worth $40 million, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski. The agreement will also include an equity kicker, add The Athletic duo.
Minority owner after Timberwolves Markus Lore and Alex Rodriguez After beginning talks with Connelly and providing him with a tentative offer, the longtime Nuggets manager flew to Minnesota on Saturday and had a four-hour meeting with the majority owner Glen Tayloraccording to The Athletic (Twitter link). Taylor signed the offer, and it took Connelly two full days to think it over before accepting the job on Monday.
Connelly has served as director of basketball operations in Denver since 2013 and followed Maasai Ujiri‘s departure for Toronto. He reportedly had a significant impact on the Nuggets’ culture, empowering coaches, staff and players while creating a positive work environment.
His loyalty to Denver and his level of comfort with owning Nuggets made moving to Minnesota a difficult decision, according to Charania and Krawczynski, who say Connelly’s new contract more than doubles his previous salary — the equity component also makes the deal significantly more lucrative .
Mike Singer of the Denver Post confirms that monetary compensation was a major factor in Connelly’s decision to leave Denver and join a division rival, as he didn’t necessarily want to leave. According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the Nuggets made an offer to keep Connelly, which would have increased his salary significantly, but Woj describes the Minnesota stake as “life-changing money” for the veteran manager.
The wolves who sack Gerson Rosas With the 2021-22 season approaching, he was seeking a notable executive to fill the role of President of Basketball Operations on a permanent basis. With Lore and Rodriguez expected to take majority control of the franchise in 2023, they wanted to “change the narrative” around a team that has often been overlooked nationally, according to Charania and Krawczynski.
Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Sachin Gupta, who temporarily ran the Timberwolves’ front office following the fall of Rosas, remains part of Minnesota’s long-term vision, sources tell The Athletic. While Connelly is likely to hire some staff himself, there appear to be no plans to leave Gupta or the head coach Chris Finkwho was previously an assistant coach at Denver.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, are considered likely to promote the general manager Calvin Booth to run her front office, reports Charania (via twitter).
The club has produced a number of successful basketball executives over the past decade, including Ujiri, Connelly and Arturas Karnisovas, the GM in Denver before leaving to become president of the Bulls’ basketball operations. There is a belief within the organization that Booth — an emerging talent well-respected in the NBA — has the ability to carry that torch into the future, notes Charania.