Tim Connelly Sachin Gupta and the Wolves Owners

Whoever Owns the Wolves Should Sign Tim Connelly Already

Basketball NBA Timberwolves
Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor walked off the stage as Alt-Governors Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore posed for photos.

Does everybody or nobody own the Timberwolves? Whoever’s in charge, Minnesota looks close to luring the Nuggets’ Tim Connelly to become the Wolves’ President of Basketball Ops. Connelly is exactly the kind of big-name owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are looking for in their front office. But current/real owner Glen “Chicken King” Taylor will make the final decision. Um, what? SIGN THIS MAN, ALREADY.

Ownership clusterfuck aside, Connelly would be a brilliant hire for the Wolves. Regardless of the changes it would bring to the suddenly promising organization. Executive VP Sachin Gupta filled in admirably after the Wolves fired Gersson Rosas, but Connelly’s talents would be huge get for Minnesota.

A Rough Start in Washington

A baby-faced Tim Connelly struggled early with the Washington Wizards

Connelly started his career as a scout and director of player personnel with the Washington Wizards. It was not a strong start. For years, Washington’s drafts were terrible (highlights include Kwame Brown, Jared Jeffries, Devin Harris, JaVale McGee). The Wizards went 357-545 during Connelly’s time there, with only three winning seasons. They never made it past the second round of the playoffs.

More Trouble in the Bayou

The New Orleans Hornets Pelicans hired Connelly as their assistant general manager in 2010. From 2010 to 2013, the Hornets Pelicans went 94-136. The team never improved on Connelly’s first season (their only with a winning record). He gets credit for drafting Anthony Davis in 2012, but that was kind of a gimme.

Mile High Success

Tim Connelly at a Denver Nuggets press conference

Connelly really turned things around when he joined Denver in 2013. Right off the bat he snagged Rudy Gobert (but traded him to the Jazz). In 2014 Denver took Doug McDermott at 11 overall, but then plucked future MVP Nikola Jokić in round two. That would’ve been more than enough to cement his legacy in Denver, but Connelly has continued to draft well. He has consistently picked a mix of All-Stars and bench contributors: Donovan Mitchell and Michael Porter Jr. among them. Though again, Mitchell was shipped to Utah like Gobert. Maybe don’t let Timmy trade with the Jazz.

In today’s Star Tribune, Chris Hine speculated that poaching a talent like Connelly might require offering him ownership stake. What’s another owner or two in the grand scheme of things? If Connelly does take the job, Gupta and Head Coach Chris Finch would probably be out. Losing Finch would sting almost as much as losing Dave Benz. He did what Tom Thibodeau and Ryan Saunders could not—steady a volatile young Wolves team enough to make the playoffs. The Wolves also just gave him a multi-year extension.

Is Tim Connelly’s eye for talent worth risking the safety and stability of last season? Absolutely. Fingers crossed that this Taylor-Lore-Rodriguez-etc. transition triangle doesn’t fuck this up like the Wizards did.