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What will General Manager Calvin Booth look like?  “Not afraid of failure,” says the source

Heading into the 2016 draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves were armed with the No. 5 pick and were in a prime position to land a fundamental play.

Calvin Booth, then director of player personnel for the Timberwolves, had identified a prospect he believed had immense potential. Jamal Murray, a Kentucky combo guard, caught Booth’s eye.

He bought into Murray’s soft shot and thought it would translate to the next level. As the repechage approaches, he pays particular attention to the fiery Canadian.

Although the Timberwolves scouted Murray a lot, Tom Thibodeau, just months away from being hired as coach and president of Minnesota basketball operations, had a fondness for older, two-way players, and they went with a different guard. That’s how Wolves settled on Kris Dunn, then 22 and from Providence. Two picks later, the Nuggets grabbed Murray themselves.

Fast forward six years, and the world of the Nuggets has been turned upside down. Former team president Tim Connelly departed earlier this week to take up a much more lucrative position at the helm of the Timberwolves. A five-year, $40 million deal, with equity in the franchise, was too sweet a deal for Connelly to pass up. No matter how close the Nuggets were in their counter-offer — and it depends on who you talk to — there was still a significant gap between the two sides, sources said.

But while Connelly chose the unforgiving Minneapolis winters, it’s not like he left the closet bare. For one thing, the Nuggets still have the basics of a championship roster. Nikola Jokic, as reported by The Post, is comfortable with the direction of the franchise, and the renewed health of Murray and Michael Porter Jr. gives the Nuggets the star power they need. Continuity at the helm – coach Michael Malone has been at the helm since 2015 – is also an important factor.

The job vacated by Connelly also opened up an opportunity for Booth, a 10-year NBA veteran and longtime league executive, to take the job. Four people who worked with Booth spoke to The Post and vouched for his credentials, both as a people and talent assessor.

A person who once worked with Booth and still works in the NBA described him as “detailed” and extremely prepared. For example, the person cited a mock draft exercise where scouts and executives debated the 60 picks and noted that Booth always had something to say about each prospect. These opinions, the person said, were always backed up by player comparisons, sometimes going back as far as 20 years, and data to back up their argument.

Rather than going along with the tone of the play, Booth wasn’t afraid to share his opinion with conviction. For an executive, let alone a former player, the work ethic was undeniable, the person said.

Another person who worked closely with Booth described him as much more “structured” than Connelly and predicted a lower tolerance for locker room headaches. More importantly, he was “not afraid of failure.”

Assuming Booth will be leading the Nuggets, there’s an internal confidence in him because not only does he know the roster lineup, he knows exactly where their weaknesses are. Besides the fact that Booth is qualified, that’s one of the reasons bringing in an outside voice to run basketball operations seems unlikely.

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