Over the course of his 15-plus months as President and General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tim Connelly has undoubtedly left a lasting mark on the organization. His decisions have largely been swift and decisive, whether fans have agreed with them or not.
After beginning with a bit of a rocky relationship after the controversial Rudy Gobert trade, Tim Connelly and Wolves fans have slowly grown closer. Many supporters of the team now have great confidence in Minnesota’s GM after seeing the results of his work come to fruition.
The moves at the trade deadline to acquire Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker proved to be a rousing success, and it is becoming clearer that the Gobert acquisition was a smart long-term play as well. The Timberwolves fans that believed in Connelly from day one can now feel validated with the results of a new advanced metric.
Timberwolves fans will feel validated by this advanced metric
One writer for Yahoo! Sports used an advanced analytic tool called Sabermetrics to create a comprehensive breakdown of each NBA team’s top executive. The metric ranks an executive’s track history in three separate categories: draft picks, trades, and free agent signings.
In the study, Tim Connelly ranked as the number one executive in the NBA in the draft picks category. According to the numbers, no one in the league is better at making decisions on draft night than the Timberwolves’ GM.
Much of what ended up landing Connelly the top spot on the list was a single draft pick he made while acting as General Manager of the Denver Nuggets. That pick, of course, was when he chose to draft Nikola Jokic with the 41st overall pick in 2014.
It is likely the greatest value draft pick in NBA history, considering that Jokic is the only MVP in league history to be drafted outside the first round. Connelly also drafted Jamal Murray, essentially making him the architect of the 2023 NBA champions.
Tim Connelly’s track record speaks for itself
The full report of Tim Connelly’s standout transactions sheds even more light on his insightful accomplishments over the course of his career. He drafted Michael Porter Jr. and traded for Aaron Gordon, two other key contributors on the Denver Nuggets’ championship squad.
The metric also estimates that the best free agency signing of Connelly’s career came when he inked Kyle Anderson to a two-year deal with the Timberwolves in the 2022 offseason. Still just 10 years in to his career, Tim Connelly already has a tremendous portfolio.
Overall, this study accurately depicts Connelly’s genius when it comes to draft knowledge. But in reality, it probably also undervalues his skill in trades and free agency, considering it listed the Gobert trade as a “diminished return.”
Connelly’s list of draft picks since arriving in Minnesota in May 2022 is short, but his track record indicates that he is absolutely the man Timberwolves fans will want driving the ship for the foreseeable future.