Timberwolves hire Tim Connelly as President of Basketball Operations

The Minnesota Timberwolves made the NBA Playoffs this year for just the second time since 2004. Monday, the team's ownership group made a move to make sure that’s the standard for the franchise moving forward.

The Timberwolves have hired Tim Connelly to be the team’s next president of basketball operations. He’ll replace Gersson Rosas, who was fired just before the start of the 2021-22 regular season. Connelly is reportedly coming to Minnesota on a five-year, $40 million deal that also includes partial ownership in the team. The move makes Connelly one of the highest-paid league executives in the NBA.

"We are thrilled to announce Tim Connelly as the next leader of our basketball operations department and welcome his family to the Twin Cities," Timberwolves owners Glen Taylor, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore said Monday in a joint statement. "He brings a wealth of NBA front office experience with various franchises. We look forward to building upon our most recent playoff run and bringing more success to Timberwolves fans for years to come."

Connelly was previously the front office head of the Denver Nuggets, who feature two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, a former second round draft choice, and one of the league’s better point guards in Jamal Murray. Connelly was with the Nuggets for nine years and helped lead the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2020. The Nuggets have made the Western Conference Playoffs in each of the last four seasons.

"My family and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Timberwolves organization," Connelly said in a statement. "I appreciate Glen, Becky, Marc and Alex’s confidence in me to lead this organization and I can’t wait to get to work to build an elite franchise that our fans can continue to be proud of."

The Timberwolves put Sachin Gupta, the team's executive vice president of basketball operations, in charge of the front office after Rosas’ dismissal. The Timberwolves won more than 40 games for just the fourth time since their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. The Timberwolves beat the Clippers to earn the No. 7 seed for the Western Conference Playoffs, then fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. It was Minnesota's second playoff appearance since Kevin Garnett led the franchise to the Western Conference Finals in 2004.

With Connelly coming in, it’s not immediately clear how Gupta’s role in Minnesota might change. Team officials said Connelly will work closely with Gupta, and head coach Chris Finch. Connelly and Finch worked together in Denver during the 2016-17 season.

Connelly reportedly met recently with Rodriguez and Lore about the opportunity in Minnesota, and Taylor reportedly met with Connelly over the weekend, which resulted in an offer. After several days, Connelly accepted.

Rodriguez and Lore will take over majority ownership of the Timberwolves in 2023, and the move to hire Connelly to run the basketball operations is their first real mark on the franchise.

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Connelly graduated from Catholic University in 1999. He and his wife, Negah, have two children.