Washington Wizards Miss Out on Tim Connelly and Can Only Blame Themselves

Washington Wizards (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With each passing day, the Washington Wizards spend more and more time without a permanent front office replacement for Ernie Grunfeld. They’ll have to wait a little longer. They just missed out on their top choice.

Last Friday, Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis reportedly met with current Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations and former Wizards front office executive Tim Connelly.

Connelly had long been rumored to be the Wizards top candidate to replace recently dismissed Ernie Grunfeld. But it wasn’t until after the Nuggets were officially eliminated from the playoffs that the Wizards were able to meet with their choice for the future. The long-awaited meeting came and went, with a reported offer made to Connelly for his “dream job.”

And then, we waited. With bated breath Wizards, fans across the district set twitter alerts for Woj and Shams and Candace Buckner and Fred Katz.  Saturday came and went. No news.

Sunday came and went. No news.

Monday morning. Bad news.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Tim Connelly will be staying with the Denver Nuggets and not joining the Washington Wizards’ front office next season.

Who knows if a more aggressive offer from the Wizards would have ultimately lured Connelly to Washington. But it was worth a try. If the Wizards really wanted him, they needed an offer that wasn’t just “in the neighborhood” of what he wanted. They needed something from the much richer area code next door. Something he just couldn’t have refused. At the very least it needed five years.

But if the Wizards never made an offer at all, maybe it would make more sense that Connelly returned to Denver and passed on a competitive offer from his hometown team. And that might have been exactly what happened.

According to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, the Wizards never even offered Connelly something concrete. No numbers. No salary. No years. Nothing. Just talk. Which begs the question ‘Why even talk to him at all?’

Why wait until after the NBA Draft Lottery to talk to your top candidate and not even make an offer? Why give him the opportunity to return to the great situation he’s built in Denver? Why? Why?! WHY?!

The Wizards had a chance at grabbing one of the most well-respected talent evaluators and team builders in the NBA right now; a guy with proven and measurable success. They had a chance to signal to the fans that they were serious about taking this franchise in a new direction by seriously investing at the top. Instead, they either made too small of an offer that he had no problem turning down, or they never offered him anything at all.

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Either way, they botched this one. The NBA Draft is in one month (June 20) and the Washington Wizards still haven’t replaced Grunfeld.

The Wizards will now have to choose from their remaining candidates: Troy Weaver, Danny Ferry, and Tommy Sheppard.