Washington Wizards: 6 early replacement ideas for team president Ernie Grunfeld

Ernie Grunfeld (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ernie Grunfeld (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Tim Connelly
Tim Connelly (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

Tim Connelly

Of all the names that have been floating around the Wizards job, Tim Connelly’s might make the most sense. Well it makes sense if just ignore his recently sign an extension with the Denver Nuggets.

Connelly, the Nuggets current president of basketball operations, took over the Denver job in 2013 after Masai Ujiri left for the Toronto Raptors. In his sixth year with the Nuggets, Denver has the Western Conference’s second-best record behind the Golden State Warriors and one of the NBA’s most complete and complimentary rosters.

Connelly started his career, however, with the Washington Wizards. He went from intern, to video coordinator, and continued upwards until leaving to become assistant GM of the Charlotte Hornets.

His history with the Wizards and his proven success with the Nuggets make him an exciting candidate, but that recent extension presents problems. Stranger things have happened, though.

Mike Zarren

Even before Ernie Grunfeld had officially been let go, Boston Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren had already come up as a possible Grunfeld replacement. And he certainly represents the type of total change the Washington Wizards need right now.

The Boston Celtics are full of young, promising talent as on of the East’s contenders. They’ve made savvy moves over the past few seasons that have allowed them to be a legit contender in the Eastern Conference while also remaining flexible and attractive in the free agent market. While most, if not all, of that credit ultimately falls to Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge, Zarren has been by his side the entire time. Certainly not a bad mentor.

During his 14 years in Boston, Zarren has also been instrumental in leading the team’s analytics department and is one of the NBA’s foremost experts on advanced analytics.