The Wizards will not get the top target in their search for a new top executive. Tim Connelly has chosen to stay in Denver rather than return home to Washington to take the same position.
Denver Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is remaining with the franchise, league sources tell ESPN. Connelly met with Washington owner Ted Leonsis on Friday about running the Wizards.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 20, 2019
Connelly had been impressed with Leonsis’ vision for franchise, but Denver’s Josh Kroenke made an aggressive case to keep Connelly once Wizards extended an offer over weekend, per sources. Major coup for Denver. https://t.co/Bms0TdTLkJ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 20, 2019
Can confirm that Tim Connelly is staying in Denver.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) May 20, 2019
May not be so surprising after all -- I spoke to three people yesterday who all claim the #Wizards never gave a contract offer to Connelly on Friday. They talked about the job, yes -- but no years and $$$ were offered.
Great news for the #Nuggets organization. In conversations with him, I know Connelly has been big on finishing what he started, and that means getting the team to, and winning, an NBA title. He’ll focus on doing that without distraction now. https://t.co/BmQM7Ej0Ui— Chris Dempsey (@chrisadempsey) May 20, 2019
We may never know ultimately what kept this deal from coming together, but the bottom line is now the Wizards are headed to Plan B. The search will now shift to the other three candidates they’ve interviewed: Former Hawks GM Danny Ferry, Thunder VP Troy Weaver, and the Wizards’ Interim President, Tommy Sheppard.
Now that Connelly is officially out of the running, the Wizards will need to move quickly to strike a deal with their next person in line. The NBA Draft is exactly one month from today and the team will have some big decisions to make on that night, as well as in free agency which starts in just 42 days. It will be interesting to see if the team’s big swing and miss makes them pull back and take a more conservative approach, or if they will continue to go after big names.