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Report: Timberwolves in ‘serious talks’ with Nuggets’ president of basketball operations Tim Connelly about same role in Minnesota

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Report: Timberwolves in ‘serious talks’ with Nuggets’ president of basketball operations Tim Connelly about same role in Minnesota

Timberwolves ownership was expected to go big-game hunting when exploring options for Minnesota’s currently vacant president of basketball operations role.

It appears as though the Wolves may have their sights set on a specific target, one that certainly qualifies as a potential splash hire.

Minnesota is in “serious talks” with Tim Connelly, the Denver Nuggets’ president of basketball operations, The Athletic reported Wednesday, though no agreement between the two sides is imminent.

Connelly has drafted two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic along with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. since taking over as Denver’s primary decision-maker in 2013. The Nuggets haven’t quite reached title contender status but are a consistent force in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Timberwolves stakeholder Marc Lore — who with Alex Rodriguez is set to become a majority owner in the coming years — has long said his companies are built by hiring the best people and allowing them to do their work. Connelly is widely regarded as one of the NBA’s premier executives.

Connelly was reportedly interested in leaving Denver to take over the basketball decisions in Washington in 2019, before ultimately deciding to stay with the Nuggets. He wouldn’t be the first executive to leave Denver, which has lost Masai Ujiri and Artūras Karnišovas to Toronto and Chicago, respectively, over the past decade.

Compensation would likely need to be the tipping point for Connelly. If Minnesota were to ante up a sizable raise, which could even include an ownership stake, that could entice Connelly to make the leap.

Doing so would create a murky future for the Wolves’ executive vice president of basketball operations, Sachin Gupta. Gupta is currently heading Minnesota’s front office operations, something he’s done since Gersson Rosas was fired on the eve of training camp last September.

While Minnesota didn’t make any splash moves during the season — which likely would’ve sacrificed long-term assets for short-term gains when Minnesota wasn’t in a position to make a deep playoff run regardless — Gupta is credited with steadying the waters during tumultuous times for the franchise. He and recently extended head coach Chris Finch have a strong relationship they both believe is built to last.

Finch has offered his strong endorsement of Gupta to the ownership group.

“They know that I think he’s outstanding and he’s been a huge reason that we have stability in this organization right now. He’s very smart. We have complete alignment,” Finch said. “The players love him. He’s appropriate in his presence around the team. He’s not heavy-handed with the coaching staff. He does his job. I’m a huge fan, and I’ve advocated for him to have his opportunity to be the guy to run this team. Nothing would make me happier than that. No better time, after this season, to be able to continue to build.”

Gupta is still a candidate to be the organization’s long-term basketball boss. But should Minnesota hire someone else to take on that role, it’s unclear if Gupta would choose to stick around to work in a secondary role.

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Sept. 1 trial status hearing scheduled for teen in killing of Chippewa Falls girl, 10

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Iliana (Lily) Peters family photo

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin teenager accused of killing a 10-year-old girl will find out in September whether he will stand trial.

Chippewa County Circuit Judge Benjamin Lane on Friday scheduled a Sept. 1 preliminary hearing for the 14-year-old boy, identified in court documents as C.T.P.-B. That’s the step in the criminal justice process where a judge determines if enough evidence exists to bind a defendant over for trial.

The body of Iliana (Lily) Peters, 10, was found in the woods near her aunt’s house in Chippewa Falls, Wis., on April 25, 2022, the day after her father reported her missing. (Courtesy of the Chippewa Falls Police Department)

The boy was charged in adult court on April 27 with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 in connection with the killing of Iliana Peters, who was known as Lily. Anyone who is at least 10 years old and is accused of first- or second-degree homicide is considered an adult in Wisconsin’s court system.

Lily disappeared on the night of April 24 as she was riding her bike home from her aunt’s house in Chippewa Falls, according to the criminal complaint. Searchers found her body in the woods the next morning.

The boy told investigators that he was riding his hoverboard alongside Lily on a trail and he intended to sexually assault and kill her, according to the complaint.

He asked Lily to leave the trail and explore the woods with him. According to the complaint, he told investigators that once they were off the trail, he punched her, hit her with a stick and strangled her before he sexually assaulted her body.

The boy’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Lane on Friday that he was upset that someone posted a video online that included recordings of police communications in the moments Lily’s body was found and that characterized the boy as a “little monster.” Cohen alleged that someone in law enforcement leaked confidential information to the poster and demanded the judge issue a gag order. He didn’t specify against whom, though.

Lane asked Cohen for the link to the video and stated that anyone with access to investigatory materials should keep them confidential and their release could jeopardize the boy’s right to a fair trial.

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Sainted & Tainted: Half of my summer is gone because you didn’t yield

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Sainted & Tainted: Half of my summer is gone because you didn’t yield

Tainted & Sainted

Tainted: June 3, between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. at Johnson Parkway and Sixth Street. The male driver in a black pickup didn’t yield to me and crossed into the bike path where I fell under the bike to avoid hitting your truck. All you did was sit in the truck and say you’re sorry. You left as soon as I got off the street. Half of my summer is gone because of this.

Tainted: Whoever designed this bike path. Hardly anyone stops at the stop sign. Just stop at the corner. Many close calls to me and I’ve told all to stop. Maybe put a yield sign or stop signs on the west side of Johnson. They don’t know how to yield.

Sainted: To the one driver who asked if I was OK. Much appreciated. Felt fine at the time but did break my elbow.

Barb Anderson, St. Paul

 

Tainted

I think It would be desirable if those responsible for the St. Paul skyway system could maintain uniform hours for the operation of the system.

They have posted operating hours indicating a close of 11 p.m., but this is contradicted by one posting indicating a 12 p.m. closing. The reality is that neither apply as I discovered this past Saturday when returning to my apartment from a downtown restaurant.

The location in the general vicinity (east) of the Subway operation was closed at 10 p.m. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect uniform operating hours to be observed.

Roger A. Godin, St. Paul

 

Sainted

An incredible Sainted to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. I had surgery this past Tuesday and had never been there before. The care I received was phenomenal. The staff was incredible and compassionate.

I was on the first floor and it was like a party when they came in for vitals, etc. Kelly always referred me to as The Boss. Thank you for such kindness and for helping me through such a painful surgery. And an even bigger shout out to my personal paramedics Shawna S. and Mary F.  Thank you both so much for everything. I’d be lost without you.

Laura McGinn, St. Paul

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ASK IRA: Could another Heat run at Kevin Durant be in the cards?

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ASK IRA: Could another Heat run at Kevin Durant be in the cards?

Q: Ira, we’ve been burned by Kevin Durant before. We can’t be fooled into fool’s gold again. – Ian.

A: Look, this whole Brooklyn Nets-will-implode storyline is so bizarre, so speculative, so seemingly preposterous that perspective needs to be toned down all around on the possibilities of both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant departing. But to your question, this also is an opportunity to address the notion of the Heat being “burned” when coming up short in free agency, including when Pat Riley and Micky Arison traveled to the Hamptons in an attempt to woo Kevin Durant during 2016 free agency. It was the same narrative when the Heat “came up short” with Gordon Hayward (and even to a degree the supposed previous “failure” to nab Kyrie). Being mentioned in such speculation means your franchise has earned the respect of players and agents. That is a good thing. The Heat get into the room (unless it’s LeBron’s Las Vegas suite). And if Kevin Durant does attempt to work his way elsewhere, they likely will be back in the room.

Q: Nikola Jovic seems a bit slow footed when I watch his clips. I’d like to see him get serious playing time in Sioux Falls, so he can adjust to the NBA speed. – James.

A: But I’m not sure the G League game, which can be helter skelter at times, is the preferred tempo, either. This could be more along the lines of Omer Yurtseven’s rookie season with the Heat, where it will be mostly developmental, with some as-needed time as warranted/merited. Remember, Nikola Jovic will become the youngest Heat player ever to appear in a game in the franchise’s 35 seasons. That has to be about patience, for more than just foot speed.

Q: Ira, you listed players the Heat passed on to get Nikola Jovic. Who would you have preferred? – Anthony.

A: So basically you’re asking me to trump my preference in the moment at the 2020 draft for Desmond Bane? I’m not sure there is anyone in that category this year. But of those selected after Nikola Jovic (who I think can turn into an inspired choice), I do believe that Patrick Baldwin’s skillset could still yield something special and was curious about E.J. Liddell as a Heat fit. But I don’t believe there is a reason for second guessing when you’re talking about No. 27.

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