DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly met with the media on Tuesday, one day after he decided to stay with the Nuggets. Connelly was being courted by the Washington Wizards for the vacant spot in their front office.
One of the reasons why Connelly decided to stay was to see through what he has helped build in Denver and because of his strong relationship and continuity with the Nuggets front office.
“I had a really nice conversation with (Wizards owner) Mr. Leonsis and his staff, he’s a fantastic owner. I was really impressed with who he was and his thoughts for the team,” said Connelly of his visit with the Wizards.
“The continuity (in Denver) is a byproduct of loyalty,” added Connelly. “When Josh (Kroenke) hired me, filling some of the biggest shoes in the NBA, we did not get off to a good start. Then he doubled down on what could have been perceived as an initial mistake. Loyalty and patience is such a rarity in sports, and that’s here in spades. Those things matter to me,” said Connelly. “I had a hard time envisioning myself elsewhere.”
Connelly also addressed the future of some of the Nuggets current roster, specifically Paul Millsap who has a team option on the final year of his three-year $90 million deal. The most likely scenario is that the Nuggets will ask Millsap to take a pay cut to reduce his salary.
“Paul is everything we’ve hoped,” said Connelly. “Our goal and Paul’s goal is ot have him back. When both people have the same goal and they both have a lot of respect for each other I’m pretty confident that will happen. I fully expect Paul to be back in a Nuggets uniform.”
Connelly also addressed the expectations for Michael Porter Jr. The 14th pick in the 2018 draft missed the entire season while coming off an injury.
“He’s entering a 54 win team where minutes were already at a premium,” said Connelly of adding Porter Jr. to the lineup. “While he’s extremely talented and he’s worked his tail off, we’re going to make him earn his spot in the rotation.”
Porter Jr. is expected to play in the NBA Summer League which begins July 5 in Las Vegas.
“We have internally high expectations for him,” said Connelly. “It’ll be great to see him out there competing.”