Could Tim Connelly Leave Timberwolves?

Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has been credited with building two NBA contenders — the Timberwolves, and defending champion Denver Nuggets.Tim Connelly, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

His second year with the Timberwolves has gone well, as they sit just a game back of the Nuggets for first in the Western Conference. Minnesota lost to Denver on Wednesday night.

(Interestingly, all four of Connelly’s brothers — Pat, Joe, Dan, and Kevin — work as scouts in the NBA or college basketball.

Anyway, Connelly has an opt-out clause in his contract and has the potential to move on to another team if he so desires, with the failed Timberwolves ownership bid of Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore perhaps playing a role, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Connelly signed a five-year deal with Minnesota in 2022. He spent nearly a decade running the Nuggets before that.

“Tim Connelly has an opt-out in his contract after the season,” Charania said on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back. “After year two, it was supposed to line up with this ownership transfer with Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore taking this team over.”

It’s hard to envision Connelly actually leaving such a good situation, but sometimes, it comes down to more than basketball. There are questions about his relationship with current majority owner Glen Taylor.

Last month, Taylor announced that the T-Wolves were no longer for sale.

the closing on the sale was required to take place within 90 days after the exercise notice issued by Lore and Rodriguez. That time frame expired on Wednesday.

A-Rod and Lore will continue to own 40 percent of the team, with Taylor retaining the controlling 60 percent.

“I will continue to work with Marc, Alex and the rest of the ownership group to ensure our teams have the necessary resources to compete at the highest levels on and off the court,” Taylor said in the release. “The Timberwolves and Lynx are no longer for sale.”

It’s believed things headed south for Rodriguez and Lore when one of their key financial backers, the Carlyle Group, decided to withdraw.

Rodriguez and Lore have made two payments toward the $1.5 billion purchase of the Timberwolves, giving them a 20 percent ownership stake each time, per reports. 

As for Connelly, well, it’s likely a wait-and-see situation. Winning doesn’t always equate to total happiness. For example, former Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin left the organization after four straight runs to the Finals in 2018. that included a championship in 2016.

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