Nuggets Tap Tim Connelly As New VP/Basketball Ops, Adds to Family NBA Legacy
The Nuggets yesterday named Pelicans Assistant GM Tim Connelly VP/Basketball Operations, replacing Masai Ujiri, according to Benjamin Hochman of the DENVER POST. Nuggets President Josh Kroenke, after former VP/Basketball Operations Pete D'Alessandro was hired by the Kings as their new GM, "quickly regrouped and locked in on Connelly." Connelly is "known for his scouting abilities, nationally and internationally, and he has a vast basketball background." He joined the Pelicans in '10 after working as Wizards Dir of Player Personnel. Pelicans GM Dell Demps said of Connelly, "He always sees the bright side. Everybody's really going to look forward to working with Tim. ... Tim is friends with everybody. He's one of those guys who everybody knows and everybody likes." Hochman writes, "As for name recognition, perhaps in a decade fans will look back at the Connellys as the Mannings of NBA execs." His brother Pat is the new Assistant GM with the Suns. Two other brothers also have "worked in coaching and scouting in some NBA capacity" (DENVER POST, 6/18).
THE NEXT GENERATION: In Baton Rouge, Darrell Williams in a special writes Connelly is considered "adept at handling the salary cap and player negotiations, but he is known foremost as an outstanding scout, particularly of international players, and has a wealth of contacts in European basketball" (Baton Rouge ADVOCATE, 6/18). YAHOO SPORTS' Adrian Wojnarowski wrote Connelly is "part of a younger generation of league executives moving into top management positions and has been compared favorably" to Magic GM Rob Hennigan and Suns GM Ryan McDonough as "part of the league's next crop of bright young minds" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/17).
NEW IN TOWN: In Sacramento, Jason Jones noted D'Alessandro yesterday was introduced as Kings GM "on his 45th birthday." Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive "initially viewed D'Alessandro as a 'long shot' for the job but was captivated by D'Alessandro's intelligence and vision." D'Alessandro "falls in line with many of today's" new GMs as his "statistical analysis is a strength, and he has worked for a sports agency." D'Alessandro also is a lawyer. Ranadive said, "The 21st-century GM has to understand the complexities of (salary) capology, the development in technology, the use of analytics. And if a good chess player thinks two moves ahead, in Pete we have a guy who can think four moves ahead." D'Alessandro said that he "leans toward a smaller staff with diverse backgrounds" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/18). Also in Sacramento, Ailene Voisin writes D'Alessandro is "storming into Sacramento to change the climate and start scribbling on the blank slate." He is "young and dynamic and energetic" as well as "bright and personable and eclectic." Ranadive before scheduling the interviews "asked each of the candidates to analyze the Kings' roster and, among other things, provide short- and long-term plans and examples of linear and non-linear thinking." He wanted "names, dates, times, places." His "vetting process required everything but an IQ test" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/18).