Josh Kroenke, the Nuggets' president and governor, made an aggressive and compelling case to Connelly over the weekend to keep him with the team, which the two have helped build into a Western Conference contender.
Connelly's deep family roots in the mid-Atlantic region and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis' franchise vision gave Connelly significant pause, but ultimately, the chance to continue building the Nuggets into contenders kept Connelly in Denver, league sources said.
Connelly met with Leonsis on Friday in suburban Maryland, sources said, and Washington extended an offer over the weekend.
The Wizards' search is now expected to return to the three finalists, including Oklahoma City's Troy Weaver, former Atlanta and Cleveland GM Danny Ferry and interim general manager Tommy Sheppard. Weaver and Ferry have each met twice with Leonsis, and Weaver's candidacy had gained momentum before Connelly agreed to talk with the Wizards.
Connelly, an NBA Executive of the Year candidate, methodically constructed a Western Conference contender that earned the No. 2 seed and advanced to a Game 7 against Portland in the West semifinals.
Connelly is a Baltimore native and broke into the NBA in the Wizards' front office as an intern in 1996. He rose to video coordinator, scout and personnel director before becoming an assistant GM in New Orleans in 2010. His wife is from Washington, D.C., and the couple's extended family resides in the region.
The Wizards are replacing former president Ernie Grunfeld, who was fired after 16 years on the job. Sheppard, a candidate to earn the permanent job, is running the team now. Weaver and Ferry have both had multiple conversations with the Wizards and also remain candidates for the job, league sources said.