GM Tim Connelly, staffers sign extensions with Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets and general manager Tim Connelly have reached agreement on a multiyear contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

Members of Connelly's front-office staff have also agreed to new deals. That group includes assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas.

"We're excited and honored by this opportunity to continue what we have started here in Denver," Connelly said in a statement. "We have a locker room full of dedicated players and staff led by head coach Michael Malone."

Connelly said the extension was unexpected.

"I believe your contract is done when it's done, so it's not something I pursued," he said. "It's something [team president] Josh [Kroenke] pleasantly surprised us with."

Malone alluded to the organizational benefits that stem from Connelly's confidence in his job security.

"The fact that it is no longer a distraction for them, they know they're going to be here, I know they're going to be here and that we have a chance together to build something is special," Malone said. "The reality, as we all know, is any team, head coach and GM need to be on the same page, need to have constant communication, open and honest. I have that with Tim."

Kroenke expressed his belief in the management team's track record and further potential.

"Tim, Arturas and the rest of our front office staff have worked tirelessly in reshaping our roster and our entire organizational vision for the future," Kroenke said. "Whether through draft, trades or free agency, we have an excellent mix of players and are extremely well-positioned moving forward."

Connelly initially hired Brian Shaw to replace George Karl but fired Shaw late last season. Malone became Denver's coach over the summer.

"I thought we were going to be a pretty good team in year one. I was embarrassed by year two," Connelly said. "We had pretty high expectations. It never meshed. I'm happy we were pretty aggressive trying to quickly change midstream as the season went the wrong way."

Connelly is in his third season with the Nuggets, after three years as the assistant GM of the New Orleans Pelicans. Karnisovas came to Denver in 2013 after five years with the Houston Rockets.

The Nuggets are 16-26 this season, but they have a young core. Three of their top five scorers -- Will Barton, Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay -- are 25 or younger.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.