We’ll get to know more about Tim Connelly, the newly hired vice president of basketball operations (re: GM) of the Denver Nuggets, in coming days.
What we know now: Connelly’s career foundation was in scouting and more specifically, international scouting.
For a franchise in flux, this is a good thing. This is what I wanted to see. This sticks with their blueprint.
We talk about the mega-trades — Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala — that shaped the Nuggets roster. But its foundation was built via excellent scouting, identifying players who might float under the radar but fit the Nuggets’ blueprint.
Ty Lawson was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2009 draft and acquired in a trade.
Kenneth Faried was the No. 22 overall pick in 2011.
Kosta Koufos, who started 81 games for a 57-win team, was a former D-Leaguer.
We’ll see, but Masai Ujiri thought very highly of him, and I think Evan Fournier will develop into a player. The Frenchman was the No. 20 overall pick in 2012.
Those are a few examples. What the Nuggets want to avoid is slip-sliding into the basketball dark ages of the 1990s. Though I question the decision to allow Ujiri another stamp on his passport by leaving for Toronto — and allowing Pete D’Allesandro to leave for Sacramento — hiring Connelly appears to be a step toward normalcy. At first glance, it appears to fit the blueprint.