After Arturas Karnisovas left Denver in April to become the new executive vice president of basketball operations with the Chicago Bulls, it was speculated that the next Nuggets general manager would come from inside the organization, given the franchise's penchant for promoting talent from within. That assessment was spot on as the Nuggets officially announced Tuesday afternoon that Calvin Booth would be promoted to general manager.
Booth, 44, has been with the Nuggets organization since 2017, and was previously the assistant GM to Karnisovas. While serving as assistant general manager, Booth played an integral role in scouting and drafting Michael Porter Jr. and Monte Morris, both of whom have showed promise early on in their careers. He's previously worked in the front office for the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he rose through the ranks from scout to director of pro personnel.
Last season, when rumors surfaced that the Wolves were considering moving on from general manager Scott Layden, Booth was one of the execs they were targeting. However, Minnesota decided to keep Layden in his role. The departure of Karnisovas paved way for Booth to naturally progress in his career.
"Calvin is one of the brightest basketball minds in our league," Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said. "We are very fortunate to have him as part of our organization and are extremely excited for his new role."
Prior to becoming a front-office executive, Booth spent 10 years playing in the NBA after being taken in the second round of the 1999 draft by the Washington Wizards. Booth's promotion makes him the ninth Black general manager in the NBA, and third hired during the current pandemic after Troy Weaver and Marc Eversley were both named GMs in recent months.
In recent weeks, the lack of diversity in NBA front offices has become a talking point across the league, as racial inequality and police brutality have been front and center after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. A coalition of players, led by Kyrie Irving and Avery Bradley, called for a list of changes that the league should make to close the gap of racial inequality in the league, one being better hiring practices for Black front-office and head-coaching candidates.
The NBA has created several initiatives to promote diversity, and when the league resumes on July 30, there are plans to make the focal point of the rest of the season on finding "tangible and sustainable ways to address racial inequality across the country," per an NBPA release.