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NBA insider: Minnesota lures Denver president with 'life-changing' $40 million deal

The Timberwolves made the hiring of Tim Connelly official on Monday night. According to an NBA insider, the deal is worth about $40 million.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired on May 19, 2022.

After reports first broke the news on Monday morning, the Minnesota Timberwolves will officially soon have a new sheriff in town from a divisional foe.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Minnesota has signed Denver Nuggets president Tim Connelly on a five-year, $40+ million deal, which includes ownership equity in the team, and would make him the team's new president of basketball operations. 

The Timberwolves confirmed the hiring on Monday evening but said the terms of the deal were not going to be released.

The ESPN senior NBA insider also reported that while Denver made an offer to Connelly that would make him one of the highest-paid executives in the league, the Timberwolves offered "life-changing money - something only a very few executives have in their deals."

Connelly has spent the last nine years in Denver, the last five as the team's president of basketball operations.

The team's ownership said in a statement that they're thrilled to hire Connelly and to welcome him and his family to the Twin Cities.

“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," the team's ownership said.

According to Jacob Tobey, sports anchor at KARE 11's sister station KUSA in Denver, losing Connelly "would be a devastating loss to the organization."

"Other than Nikola Jokic, he may just be the most important piece to the Nuggets organization," Tobey added.

The Baltimore native helped catapult the Nuggets to the top of the NBA's Western Conference largely through the draft. Connelly's most impactful draft picks include 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

Before working for the Nuggets, Connelly spent three seasons as the New Orleans Hornets' assistant general manager.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to join the Timberwolves organization,” Connelly said in the team's announcement. “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 added that an introductory press conference for Connelly will be held soon on a later date, but no specifics were announced.

“This is such an important hire for the organization and our fans, we are confident that Tim’s leadership will be a major part of our continued growth and future success," Ethan Casson, the CEO of the Timberwolves and Lynx, said in the team's statement.

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