Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said his team would be better this season than last season.
So far, he’s right.
Denver is 16-25, a slightly better pace last year’s 30-52 record.
I’m not sure the Nuggets should be overly concerned about wins and losses at this point in their arc. They’re still a team in flux, trying to rebuild while still paying key veterans.
But whatever bar Connelly’s bosses deem important, he’s clearing it.
Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly has reached agreement on multi-year contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Connelly’s front-office staff, including assistant general manager Arturas Karnishovas, is returning on new deals too, sources said.
Connelly has a mixed record, though it skews positive.
He hired Brian Shaw, who was in way over his head as head coach. Then, Connelly replaced Shaw with the more-qualified Michael Malone.
Connelly bungled salary-cap rules on Kenneth Faried‘s contract extension and gave up too much to dump JaVale McGee a year early. But at least Connelly used the created cap space from the McGee trade to extend the contracts of Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari – raising the trade value of both.
In hindsight, Connelly sold too low on Evan Fournier when trading him for Arron Afflalo. But Connelly aced a couple other trades. He extracted maximum value when trading Timofey Mozgov to the Cavaliers and netted a first-round pick and Will Barton for Afflalo, who was sent to the Trail Blazers.
There’s a black mark on Connelly’s first draft. He traded the pick used on Rudy Gobert to the Jazz for a second-rounder and cash. But drafting has become a strength since. Connelly has stocked Denver with young talent like Gary Harris, Jusuf Nurkic, Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay.
There’s more to like than dislike, and the his moves have trended better over time. Especially considering this is his first time running a team, Connelly deserves a chance to continue seeing out his vision.