Nuggets hire Pelicans executive Tim Connelly as VP of basketball operations

USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets began filling in the holes left by two front-office departures.

The Nuggets hired Tim Connelly away from the New Orleans Pelicans to become the Denver's new executive vice president of basketball operations, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Connelly has been the Pelicans -- previously the Hornets -- assistant general manager since 2010.

The move by Denver is the first step in replacing a front office that lost general manager Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors and then saw potential in-house replacement Pete D'Alessandro become the general manager for the Sacramento Kings. D'Alessandro worked under Ujiri as the vice president of basketball operations.

Connelly, 36, is considered one of the rising new-look front office executives, having jumped into the league as an intern with the Washington Wizards in 1996. He worked his way to director of player personnel with Washington until leaving for the New Orleans opening a few years ago.

Connelly's first move will either include filling in the other front office positions or hiring a new head coach.

Owner Josh Kroenke fired George Karl after nine seasons despite Karl leading Denver to 57 wins and winning the NBA Coach of the Year award.

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