Harrison Wind: More on Ryan Saunders: I heard he was nearly hired to Michael Malone’s staff a year ago, but it got derailed at the last minute. Saunders was an observer at Nuggets training camp last season and Calvin Booth knows him from his days in the Minnesota front office.
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June 12, 2022 | 5:11 pm EDT Update
Michael Singer: Tim Connelly opens his remarks as president of the Timberwolves thanking his ex-colleagues in Denver. Cites the Kroenkes, Michael Malone and Calvin Booth. “This (opportunity) is a culmination of their hard work.”
Jokic’s brothers, Strahinja and Nemanja, met with Nuggets general manager Calvin Booth and assistant GM Tommy Balcetis in recent days to discuss the team’s future. All sides, sources say, left the meeting aligned in their vision. For the new Nuggets regime, it was important to spend time with the Jokic family in person stateside in the aftermath of Connelly’s departure. Booth and coach Michael Malone have also spoken to Nikola Jokic over the phone, as the big man remains on his annual offseason respite in Serbia. Both sides reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the partnership in that conversation.
The decision to leave was particularly difficult for Connelly considering how close the Nuggets are to title contention and the deep relationships he’s established inside the organization with players and coach Michael Malone. Under Connelly’s watch, the Nuggets have reached the second round of the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, which had only been done once since 1994. Connelly, according to multiple sources, wasn’t eager to leave Denver and wasn’t searching for a new organization to help develop.