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Josh Kroenke to Altitude Radio: You’re going to see top tier free agents pay attention to the Nuggets

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Plus, details on Tim Connelly’s decision to stay in Denver

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Kroenke joined Scott Hastings, Ryan Harris, and Josh Dover this morning to talk about Tim Connelly’s decision to stay with the Denver Nuggets and the conversations behind the scenes over the last couple of days. Check out the entire interview below:

There were a couple of really interesting details that Kroenke shared that stand out.

This was about finishing what they started

“When I talk to Tim, when I talk to Arturas (Karnisovas)...we talk about is building programs and not just building teams. And this spring was really exciting for me because you started to see kind of a program start to take shape...they narrowly missed the playoffs (last season) and you keep building toward something with a group of people. And I think that’s what, to bring it back to Tim Connelly, I think that’s what Tim was really excited about, to keep building and to keep growing as a special group of people.”

On allowing Tim to meet with the Washington Wizards

“For me, it was a decision that I wanted to allow Tim to have because as a friend, he’s earned that right. And this was really, the Washington Wizards were the only team that Tim would really consider outside of the Denver Nuggets. I think I can say that with 100% certainty. And when you have relationships like this...in addition to being from the region, there’s some genuine family things going on with Tim that he wanted to talk, not only to his wife about, but his extended family as well. Brothers, sisters, mom and dad, you know, everybody. So being a friend, I owed it to Tim to see if he wanted to talk about a situation where he was going to move his family and I know it was the only place that he was going to seriously consider leaving us for.”

“And another thing that I want to make sure that I hit on - Tim had the conversation, but I think his heart was always in Denver.”

On the importance of continuity and being hungry for more

“I think our entire organization is hungry for more. And when I say organization, I mean KSE. I mean, I hope you guys had as much fun as I did over the last month and a half. We hope to continue to build on that. Continuity is something that I speak about quite a bit at this point in time but we’re going to have some really good continuity on the Avalanche and Nuggets, from the front office, coaching staffs, down to the players.”

“These guys have had a small taste of playoff success. But I think most importantly...how hard the playoffs actually are. What lessons did we learn this year that we can try to apply next year? I’m really excited to see what kind of lessons were picked up over the last six weeks or so, from some of the younger players in particular. It doesn’t get any easier, but the first time is definitely the hardest time when you realize that it truly goes up a notch in the playoffs. And if you’re going to really compete for the championships and not just talk about it, you’ve got to really elevate your play.”

On getting attention from free agents

“We’ve been planning pretty methodically, not trying to skip steps. I know that’s a cliche term, I guess. But the cool thing about where we are with the Avs and Nuggs, there’s a lot of room for improvement and as our existing rosters work hard over the summer I think our competitive ceiling if gonna keep going higher. And that was our goals was getting ourselves in position where we could, not only have a chance to be pretty good, but we didn’t have to make major moves every summer to do it. And that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try to make major moves, but I think if you put yourself in position where you have to do something, that’s a place where other teams can take advantage of you a little bit. So I think we’re on strong footing even if we don’t do anything.”

“But, I think that now the positions, the strength of the coaching staff, the roster I think you’re going to start to see, hopefully a top tier free agent or at least somebody that is looking to switch teams to really start to pay attention to the Avalanche and Nuggets because I think we have very compelling stories to tell for anybody that wants to go and chase a title over the next 5 to 6 years. And that’s really exciting because I’m not sure if we’ve been in that position before.”