The Washington Wizards fired their president of basketball operations, Ernie Grunfeld on Tuesday and now Fred Katz of the Athletic is reporting that they’ve tabbed Denver’s Tim Connelly as the top target in their search for a replacement. Connelly is a Baltimore native and spent time on staff with the Wizards (and New Orleans Pelicans) prior to joining the Nuggets front office in 2013.
Many around the NBA believe the Wizards have centered in on Nuggets president of bball ops Tim Connelly as their top target to replace Ernie Grunfeld, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA: https://t.co/oIb63nfn4C pic.twitter.com/eP7aYYIxGH— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) April 3, 2019
The Nuggets agreed to an extension with Connelly and the rest of his front office less than two months ago but that doesn’t mean that a move to Washington is off the table entirely. The Nuggets and Connelly could agree to an amicable split, with ownership granting the Wizards permission to poach the architect of this immensely successful rebuild.
That’s not the only path to Washington’s desired acquisition either. As Fred points out in his piece, trading for a front office member, however unlikely, can and has been done before:
“There would be complications in enticing Connelly to come to Washington. The Nuggets announced less than two months ago that they signed both Connelly and general manager Arturas Karnisovas to extensions. But previous similar situations with coaches or executives have shown that when there’s a will there’s a way, whether that means an amicable split or compensation going the way of the organization losing talent. The Celtics, for example, received a first-round pick for releasing Doc Rivers from his contract so he could head to the Clippers in 2013. The Bucks parted with a second-rounder so they could sign former Nets coach Jason Kidd in 2014.”
A split between Connelly and the Nuggets seems unlikely but this could be a story that develops over the next couple of weeks.