HoopsHype Tim Connelly rumors

November 17, 2014 Updates

Eighteen months later, Denver is getting smoked nightly. It's a 2-7 team with no discernible identity, redundancies all over its roster and a morose, first-time coach who has expressed frustration with the fortitude of his team. Several sources around the league, a few close to the Nuggets, say the organization is "rudderless" under the controls of a young front office, led by general manager Tim Connelly, that has neither the experience nor the savvy to survive in a league whose executive ranks are teeming with predators. ESPN.com

"I'm not sure Tim can do the job," a league power broker, who has known Connelly for years, said. "He's the nicest guy you'll meet, but he's out of his depths, and you saw it with the [Kenneth] Faried mess." The mess in question refers to the odd sequence of events during the finalization of Faried's four-year, $50 million extension completed in early October, a deal that was initially leaked by Denver, according to several sources, at five years and $60 million, only the terms of that deal didn't conform to the current collective bargaining agreement, which stipulates a team's "designated player" for a five-year extension must receive the maximum money. Connelly and Ben Tenzer, the Nuggets' young director of team operations and de facto salary-cap guy, jumped the gun while the rest of the NBA, including the league office, scratched their heads at the report. ESPN.com

In the final analysis, the whoops factor of the episode exceeded any substantive damage, of which there was none. The parties completed the deal, and the Nuggets had protected their asset. Around the league, though, there was a collective WTF?! More than one source close to the league's infrastructure has confirmed Faried wasn't the only proposed transaction by Denver that violated CBA 101 basics. One rival team executive said the Nuggets called to propose a trade that was obviously unkosher under league rules, something that rarely, if ever, happens because no general manager wants to betray ignorance of such a rudimentary part of the gig. Most have the good sense to call the league to fact-check potential acquisitions. ESPN.com

June 27, 2014 Updates
June 25, 2014 Updates
June 5, 2014 Updates
May 9, 2014 Updates

Q: Kenneth is entering the final year of his contract. How do you approach extension talks this summer? Tim Connelly: “I tell guys all the time, ‘We want to pay you. Give us a reason to pay you.’ Certainly Kenneth’s energy and toughness is something our team feeds off of. It embodies who we’re trying to be. We’re in a great spot. He has another year on his rookie-scale contract. We’ll try to come to some agreement this offseason. Hopefully we do. If not, he’s still on our team and we have restricted rights the following year. It’s certainly a good spot to be in. We have to be an organization – and we have been – that will reward good play. And Kenneth’s played well – really well.” NBA.com

Q: As you sit here today, what are your overall expectations for next season? Tim Connelly: “We’re aware of where we need to get better, and we’ll address those needs, whether it’s on draft night, whether it’s through free agency, whether it’s through trades. We’re not content. Our goal’s not to be a bubble playoff team. Our goal is to be a team that’s playing for the Western Conference finals and then you have a puncher’s chance at winning a championship. We’re going to be very aggressive on our end. It takes two to make a deal, so who knows if we’ll find willing suitors, but we’re going to be really aggressive trying to improve this team and use every tool at our disposal.” NBA.com

April 3, 2014 Updates

I mentioned the trade rumors that troubled Faried to Denver general manager Tim Connelly, and before I could formulate anything resembling a semi-intelligent question, Connelly painfully contorted his face like a dude who had swallowed a spoonful of cinnamon on a dare. "Pshaw," Connelly said. Loose translation: Trade the Manimal? Are you kidding? "In the last six weeks of the season, there are only a handful of players in the league who have been better than Kenneth Faried," Connelly said. "He rebounds like he's 7-feet tall. His intensity and toughness overcomes his lack of size. His shooting percentage is high. And, of course, his energy level in contagious. In a lot of ways, Faried determines how we play." Denver Post

December 10, 2013 Updates

Rival executives say Denver, despite starting 13-8 and having just concluded a 4-2 six-game road trip, could still pull this trigger if they wished to. But the Nuggets like being competitive, and the remains of their 57-win roster were strong enough that a full-scale tank job would be tough. "I think our owner would have let us do whatever we wanted," Connelly says. "But a full-scale rebuild is not the be-all, end-all. It's a four- to five-year process. And coming off a 57-win season, that's just not something I would have pushed. There are too many good players here. It would be a disservice not to try, and not to try to win big." Grantland

Not every deal has to be The Deal. Houston is the most recent team to show that piling up assets, bit by bit, can improve a team's (long) odds of striking The Deal down the line. Remember: Denver owns New York's first-round pick in the next draft, as well as the right to swap picks with the Knicks in 2016. Connelly is optimistic that the pieces are still here to do something big. "Everyone wants a superstar," he says. "If one becomes available, we'll be as aggressive as anyone." Grantland

July 27, 2013 Updates
July 26, 2013 Updates
July 25, 2013 Updates
July 16, 2013 Updates

The Denver Nuggets have named Arturas Karnisovas as assistant general manager, general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly announced today. NBA.com

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