1 vital figure central to building both Nuggets and Timberwolves current rosters

Jun 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly
Jun 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly / Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets and Timberwolves second-round playoff series is chock full of intrigue and storylines. But one of the most fascinating stories behind this series revolves around the man who played a major role in putting both of these teams together, Tim Connelly.

Connelly instrumental in building the Nuggets

Connelly joined the Nuggets front office all the way back in 2013, working his way up from executive vice president and general manager to president of basketball operations. While in Denver he helped usher in this era of Nuggets basketball, playing a role in the drafting of Nikola Jokic, Jamal, Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and others.

He was also vital in orchestrating moves to acquire players in trades like Aaron Gordon. Connelly got the team to contender status and had a huge role in building the team that we see today and the team that won the title in 2023.

Connelly now elevating Timberwolves

In 2022 however, Connelly left the Nuggets to take over the role of president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves paid Connelly a fortune to come run the team and he immediately made a splash by trading a haul of draft picks for defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert.

The trade was ridiculed at the time, but now Gobert is in line to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year Award, and the T-Wolves have built one of the most elite defenses the league has seen in recent memory.

NBA playoff games are won and lost on the court, mostly by the players and to a lesser extent, the coaches. But many of the central figures in this series are in their positions due to Connelly. So now the two teams he built are on a collision course and we get this Tim Connelly Bowl in round two.

It must have been bittersweet for Connelly to watch the Nuggets get over the hump and win the title after his departure, but now he has a chance to even the score and get some revenge. Win or lose, Connelly has established himself as one of the best executives in the league, and this series should be a referendum on all that he has already accomplished.