For the second time in three years, the Wizards’ front office has been raided for a Connelly. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Wizards director of player personnel Pat Connelly is moving to Phoenix to take an unspecified front office position with the Suns.
Connelly has been with the Wizards for the past seven years, including the past two seasons in his role as director of player personnel. He was preceded at that position by his older brother, Tim, who left to become the assistant general manager for New Orleans in August 2010.
New Suns general manager Ryan McDonough is currently assembling his front office staff after being hired earlier this month. The Arizona Republic was first to report to addition of Pat Connelly.
Former Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester will also join the scouting staff, according to the newspaper. The Suns hired former NBA player Jeff Hornacek as head coach.
A native of Baltimore, Connelly joined the Wizards in 2006 after a stint as a graduate assistant at Baylor. He spent five years as a scout before being promoted to a position in which he was tasked with the responsibility of scouting collegiate and international talent, while also dealing with salary cap management and analytics.
Connelly graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s in 2002 and served as an assistant for two seasons with the Brighton Bears of the British League. He also aided Tim in efforts to globalize the game in England. Another brother, Joe, currently serves as a player development assistant with the Wizards.
The Wizards aren’t in a rush to hire a replacement, because the team currently is making preparations for the June 27 NBA draft, and likely will look to hire from the outside, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The source added that Pat Connelly already left his scouting reports and recommendations with the team but probably won’t officially leave for a few more weeks.
Connelly worked on vice president of basketball administration Tommy Sheppard and vice president of player personnel Milt Newton. ESPN.com is reporting that Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and the former Wizards coach Flip Saunders has spoken with Newton about a possible position in his front office.
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and his scouting department are in Minnesota this week for a two-day workout hosted by the Timberwolves. The team will begin hosting draft prospects beginning next week.
The Wizards hold picks No. 3, 37 and 54 in the upcoming draft.