Timberwolves poacher Tim Connelly of Nuggets with ownership stake

The Minnesota Timberwolves have poached Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly with a landmark deal that includes a stake in the team, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to the report, Connelly will be paid $ 40 million over five seasons in addition to equity. Details of the effort were not reported.

Monday’s news arrives after reports that Connelly met with outgoing Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor over the weekend after previously meeting with the incoming ownership group of Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez. Lore is slated to take over controlling ownership of the franchise in 2023. He targeted Connelly and led the recruiting responsibility for the nine-year-old Nuggets director, according to Wojnarowski. According to the report, the Nuggets made a late bid to keep Connelly, but it did Minnesota’s equity offer sealed the deal for the Timberwolves.

FILE - Denver Nuggets basketball president Tim Connelly is considering a question during a May 21, 2019, conference call in Denver.  A person familiar with the situation tells the Associated Press on Thursday, May 19, 2022, that Connelly is in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about their vacant role as president of basketball operations.  (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, Fil)

Tim Connelly leaves Denver to join the Minnesota Timberwolves. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, Fil)

Connelly, 45, joins the Timberwolves with a reputation for keeping an eye on talent. He joined the Nuggets as executive vice president in 2013 and took over for Masai Ujiri when he left Denver to take over basketball operations for the Toronto Raptors. The Nuggets promoted Connelly to president in 2017.

Connelly oversaw the drafting of two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic with the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He also oversaw the selections of Jamal Murray as No. 7 in 2016 and Michael Porter Jr. as No. 14 in 2018 after the top NBA prospect slipped in the draft due to back health issues.

Connelly joins a budding Timberwolves team fresh on its first playoff appearance since 2018 and its second in 18 seasons led by Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. He is tasked with overseeing an effort to add more talent and advance past the first round of the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. Minnesota is number 19 in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Calvin Booth takes over in Denver

It informs The Athletic’s Shams Charania general manager Calvin Booth is promoted to president of basketball operations in Denver. Booth played in the NBA from 2000-09 and has worked in the NBA’s front offices since 2013 in stints with the New Orleans Pelicans, Timberwolves and Nuggets. He was promoted to general manager in Denver in 2020.

He takes over a franchise that saw his championship hopes derailed in part by injuries to Murray and Porter this season. The Nuggets are under pressure to capitalize on Jokic’s best after failing to advance beyond the Western Conference semifinals in each of his two MVP seasons.

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