After admiring the work Tim Connelly has done in collecting prized young talent throughout the draft and via trade the last few seasons, many Nuggets fans were wondering whether he would be allowed to test free agency the way Masai Ujiri did, when he left Denver for a promotion in Toronto after his contract expired with the Nuggets.
Worry no longer. Tim Connelly was signed to a multi-year extension today, along with his assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas and the rest of their staff. Connelly and Karnisovas, who was the European Player of the Year in 1996, are both crucial cogs in the European scouting machine the Nuggets have built. That scouting apparatus has brought the Nuggets Jusuf Nurkic, Joffrey Lauvergne and Nikola Jokic over the last few seasons, who together compose the majority of Denver's frontcourt future.
Denver has found some stability under coach Michael Malone even in a season rife with injuries, and signing the entire front office folks who made all that happen - and also added Will Barton in trade and extended both Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler for below market rate - bodes well for a team looking to add a few more pieces around Emmanuel Mudiay and the rest of the young Nuggets as they look to compete for a championship.
The news release follows:
DENVER, Jan. 19, 2016 – The Denver Nuggets have signed General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, Assistant General Manager Arturas Karnisovas and their staff to multi-year contract extensions, President and Governor Josh Kroenke announced today.
"Over the past few years Tim, Arturas, and the rest of our front office staff have worked tirelessly in reshaping our roster and our entire organizational vision for the future," said Kroenke. "Whether through the draft, trades, or free agency, we have an excellent mix of players and are extremely well positioned moving forward."
Connelly took over as General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2013 after spending the previous three seasons with New Orleans serving as their Assistant General Manager. Prior to his time in New Orleans, Connelly spent 10 years with the Washington Wizards organization where he rose to director of player personnel.
Karnisovas came to Denver after spending five years with the Houston Rockets organization, where he most recently was the Director of Scouting. He spent four years with the NBA league office prior to that.
"We’re excited and honored by this opportunity to continue what we have started here in Denver," stated Connelly. "We have a locker room full of dedicated players and staff, led by head coach Michael Malone, who look forward to winning in this great city for years to come. As a staff we would like to thank Josh and the entire Kroenke family for their continued support; we are unbelievably fortunate to work for such committed ownership.