Sources: Wolves hire exec Connelly on $40M deal

by Gordon Dixon - Tim Connelly heads to Minnesota on a five-year deal worth over $40 million that also includes ownership equity, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Connelly spent nine years building the Nuggets into a contender.

Sources: Wolves hire exec Connelly on $40M deal

Sources: Minnesota Timberwolves hire executive Tim Connelly to 5-year deal worth over $40M that includes ownership equity 3:37 PM ET Adrian WojnarowskiSenior NBA Insider Close Host of The Woj Pod Joined ESPN in 2017 Denver Nuggets president Tim Connelly has agreed to a five-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that is worth over $40 million and includes ownership equity, making Connelly one of the league's highest-compensated executives, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Connelly becomes the second consecutive top basketball executive to leave the Nuggets for a significantly more lucrative offer elsewhere. He replaced Masai Ujiri in 2013 when Ujiri left Denver for Toronto. Denver made a bid to keep Connelly that would've moved him one of the better paid league executives, sources said, but the ownership equity with Minnesota is life-changing money -- something only a select few executives have in their deals. Connelly has built a reputation as one of the NBA's best talent evaluators and deal-makers, maintaining strong relationships with top player agents and the respect of his front-office peers. He has a strong relationship with two-time MVP Nikola Jokic , whom Connelly drafted with the 41st pick of the 2014 NBA draft. Jokic is eligible for a contract extension this summer. Connelly spent nine years building the Nuggets into a Western Conference contender, although injuries short-circuited the franchise in the past two seasons after a run to the Western finals in 2020. He previously turned down an opportunity to become the Washington Wizards ' top basketball executive three years ago, choosing to remain with the Nuggets. Connelly grew up in Baltimore and spent the first several years of his front-office career with Washington.