Wizards granted permission to speak with Denver’s Tim Connelly about open GM job

Nuggets’ Tim Connelly to meet with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis

The Wizards interest in Denver Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is now out in the open.

Washington has been granted permission to discuss the franchise’s President of Basketball Operations job with Connelly, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Washington.

Connelly, who began his NBA front office career with the Wizards, has long been considered a strong if not leading candidate for the opening since the dismissal of long-time President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld on April 2.

No meeting has been set up yet between the Wizards and Connelly, but one is expected in the near future, according to a source. NBC Sports Washington reported last month of Connelly’s unwillingness to be formally interviewed for the Wizards opening, but an openness to consider the job if offered the position.

NBC Sports Washington previously reported that personal considerations make the idea of returning to the area attractive for the Baltimore native. He also worked over a decade in the organization starting as an intern in 1996. Connelly views the opening his "dream job," according to sources.

He also has a good situation with the Nuggets. Denver finished with a 54-28 record this season and entered the postseason as the second seed in the Western Conference. Its season ended Sunday with a 100-96 loss to Portland in Game 7 of the Western Conference best-of-7 second-round series. That result put the notion of luring Connelly back to the area to the test. He signed an extension during the 2018-19 season.

The Athletic reported last week that Connelly’s two-year extension would pay the executive "somewhere just north of $2 million per year through 2021." Washington would likely need to significantly increase the per year salary for Connelly to consider.

The Nuggets roster is loaded with young talent including MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and rising star Jamal Murray, meaning a potential deep run in the playoffs next season.

Connelly is representing Denver in Chicago for the two-day NBA Combine.

Wizards interim GM Tommy Sheppard, former Hawks GM Danny Ferry and Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver have been interviewed for the opening.

ESPN first reported the permission granted by the Nuggets.

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