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Nuggets hire Pelicans executive Tim Connelly as new GM

New Nuggets GM Tim Connelly (right) puts a Russian player through a workout. (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images) New Nuggets GM Tim Connelly (right) puts a Russian player through a workout. (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

The Nuggets announced Monday the hiring of Pelicans assistant GM Tim Connelly as their new executive vice president of basketball operations.

“We are extremely excited to have Tim join the Denver Nuggets organization,” Nuggets CEO Josh Kroenke said in a statement. “He comes from a great basketball background, possesses an incredibly strong work ethic and is a wonderful person. His passion and energy for the game of basketball are contagious and I am confident that he will be a great fit with us in Denver.”

For the past three seasons, Connelly worked under GM Dell Demps in New Orleans. His NBA career dates back to 1996, when he joined the Wizards as a basketball operations intern.

“I want to thank the Kroenke family for this incredible opportunity and for putting their faith in me to help lead the Nuggets to new heights,” Connelly said in a statement. “I am also very grateful to Dell and the Pelicans organization and want to thank them for preparing me for this next chapter in my career. I am looking forward to building on the strong foundation that has already been established in Denver.”

Connelly, 36, will fill the GM role vacated by 2013 Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri, who was hired by the Raptors back in May. Over the weekend, Denver also lost vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro to Sacramento, where he will serve as GM of the Kings.

First up on Connelly's plate: finding a replacement for 2013 Coach of the Year George Karl, who was fired earlier this month.

Denver went 57-25 in 2012-13, earning the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, but lost to Golden State in the first round of the playoffs.

New Orleans went 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

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