David Aldridge with The Athletic wrote an article today detailing The Wizards’ very real interest in hiring Denver Nuggets’ President Of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly as their next GM. The article itself is behind a paywall, but Real GM’s summary of the article is as follows:
According to numerous sources, Connelly “would be delighted” to run the Wizards. Connelly is from Baltimore and he began his NBA career with the franchise in 1999 as an assistant video coordinator.
Connelly, however, won’t interview for the job as he already runs the Denver Nuggets.
Industry sources say Connelly received a two-year extension from the Nuggets that pays him more than $2 million per season through 2021. Connelly could join the Wizards if they double his salary. The Nuggets could let Connelly out of his contract to join the Wizards under those conditions.
The article itself goes into more detail about how Connelly will not interview, because he has a job. The Wizards can either overwhelm him with an offer or he can remain on the growing juggernaut he has built from the ground up in Denver. He does have tremendous family and business ties to the Wizards and much as with Masai Ujiri and the Raptors there are many reasons the job would be intriguing to him.
Masai Ujiri got titles and power and a boatload of cash from the Raptors over numerous years to cash in on that connection. Aldrige reports that Connelly received an extension for two more years at more than $2 million a season, which is a perfectly respectable salary league-wide. Toronto offered Ujiri $3 million a season over five years which was something Denver simply was not going to match.
Will Tim Connelly leave the same way, for a ton of money and security in a place he loves? It would be hard to fault him for that if Washington did offer twice the salary and years - I certainly wouldn’t. And the Nuggets have prepared for this by promoting Connelly to POBO and making Arturas Karinsovas their titled General Manager when Milwaukee came calling for an interview with Arturas last summer.
Only Connelly can say whether what the Wizards eventually offer will be enough to move him out of Denver and away from the maturation of half a decade’s worth of work in order to start over. Denver has contingency plans that maintain front office stability (depending on who may go with Connelly to DC) and has a young team that is showing the entire league exactly what kind of sterling quality Connelly has wrought in Denver.
But that success breeds suitors, and the Wizards are the most dangerous one to Denver’s front office.