Arturas Karnisovas and Tim Connelly are getting promotions. Karnisovas was elevated from assistant general manager to general manager of the Denver Nuggets, while Connelly is giving up his title of general manager to become president of basketball operations.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical broke the news Wednesday afternoon. The Nuggets confirmed the news Thursday.
Karnisovas was a finalist for the Milwaukee Bucks general manager job. But he withdrew his name from the search to stay with the Nuggets, Wojnarowski reported.
Karnisovas, who helped lead the Lithuanian men’s basketball team to consecutive bronze medals in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, has deep European connections. This was the second summer in a row that Karnisovas interviewed for a general manager job. He interviewed for the Brooklyn Nets GM job last year, which wound up going to Sean Marks.
Connelly and Karnisovas both began working the Nuggets’ front office in the summer of 2013. In that time, they’ve worked together to draft one of the most promising young nucleuses in the league, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by team president Josh Kroenke.
“Tim and Arturas’ incredible work ethic, eye for talent, and integrity over the past several years has done nothing but give our organization confidence in our future and these promotions are a direct reflection of that belief,” Kroenke said in a statement Thursday. “Continuity is one of the more underappreciated traits of championship level organizations, and we couldn’t be more excited for our group to continue to work together towards the goal of bringing Denver its first NBA title.
Kroenke’s decision to promote Connelly and Karnisovas ensures the two most important members of the Nuggets’ front office remain with the team ahead of next week’s draft and free agency, which begins July 1.
“While we acknowledge we still have lots of hard work ahead, the strides we have made on and off the basketball court are starting to reflect the culture that we believe can take us to a special place,” Kroenke said. “With Tim and Arturas continuing their tireless efforts, a promising young team, and plenty of salary cap flexibility, we hope our fans are as excited as we are about the future of Denver Nuggets basketball.”
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