Timberwolves Hopeful Tim Connelly Sticks Around After Opt Out, But Money Talks

Photo: Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves - X)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in the midst of their most successful season in decades, and while there is some roster uncertainty for next season, the man putting it all together appears likely to remain in charge.

President of basketball operations Tim Connelly has been wildly successful in both of his previous stops, and would be a hot candidate for any organization. And he has options.

Currently facing off against the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly is seeing something of a full circle moment as his current employer opposes his previous one.

Will Tim Connelly stay put with Minnesota Timberwolves?

Tim Connelly, Minnesota Timberwolves
Credit: Photo: Marc Lore – X

If Connelly wants to parlay that success into another new challenge (possibly a massive payday), it sounds like he will get that opportunity. As previously reported, the Detroit Pistons are very interested in Connelly.

And on Monday, The Athletic furthered that story, reporting that waiting on the Timberwolves’ season to end with could be what’s holding up the Pistons’ president of basketball operations hiring process.

Part of the hold up, league sources say, is that Detroit appears interested in making a run at Minnesota Timberwolves head executive Tim Connelly, whose team is in the midst of a second-round playoff matchup with Connelly’s former team, the defending-champion Denver Nuggets.

James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania (The Athletic)

There is no denying that Connelly holds all the cards when it comes to his future. Building a winner in Denver, and then coming to Minnesota and replicating that is more than just a feather in his cap.

If this Timberwolves team can take down the reigning champs, Connelly would be responsible for building the only roster that was able to take out the previous one he helped create.

Related: Los Angeles Lakers Eyeing Timberwolves’ Top Assistant Micah Nori

Of course there is always the possibility that another franchise offers Connelly a significant amount of money, after he opts out of his contract with the Timberwolves, which is the expectation, according to The Athletic’s report. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s leaving. With all the hype surrounding Minnesota’s PoBO, it likely means a new contract extension, if he stays.

Whether or not Connelly returns to the Timberwolves, league sources say he is likely to opt out of the final year of his contract. It seems likely that Connelly will return to Minnesota, but if Pistons owner Tom Gores is willing to offer something like $15 million annually, that could be enough to pry him away.

James L. Edwards III and Shams Charania (The Athletic)

Are the Detroit Pistons a fit for Tim Connelly

Of course money talks, and if the Detroit Pistons are willing to write something of a blank check, then the uncertain ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves will need to do some soul-searching. Connelly opting out of his deal looks like it may be only a formality, as long as whoever Minnesota’s owner is at season’s end is willing to pay him.

Related: Anthony Edwards Needs Some Teammates

Whether Minnesota wins an NBA title this season or not, it looks to be just the beginning for budding superstar Anthony Edwards. Connelly has work to put a team around him that can compete at the highest levels, but turnover with Karl Anthony Towns could happen.

If that’s the case, then there is opportunity to put Minnesota back at the top by making a few maneuvers that have Edwards finding success for the long haul. With the Pistons, Connelly would basically be starting at ground zero.

Cade Cunningham is an intriguing piece, but Detroit won an NBA-worst 14 games this season. There isn’t much to like about the roster, and while he would be getting paid handsomely to transform it, the uphill battle would be like something he has almost never seen before.

No situation that Connelly would be walking into sets up better than what would leave. With money being the only hurdle for Minnesota needing to overcome, they have to be the leader in the clubhouse to keep their head man in house. Dane Moore seems to believe so as well.

“Why wouldn’t you want this job if you’re Connelly? You have Ant. I mean, you have *Ant*… And you have a roster you built specifically in the vision of Ant becoming this. So I just don’t see the motivation to go to Detroit.”

“I guess there is the salary part… Detroit just did drop like $80 million on a new coach last summer. So idk, if Detroit offers to double Connelly’s salary from $8M to $15M a year, maybe that changes some things. And that’s where it would be interesting on who the Wolves owner was — because they would presumably have the opportunity to match. Would Glen match?”

Dane Moore via X

Related: Anthony Edwards’ Kicks Are Living in the Limelight

We’ll find out how this all shakes out over the summer, but here’s to hoping that the Timberwolves are planning a parade before figuring out what comes next in the front office.

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