Tim Connelly has big expectations for Denver Nuggets point guard Jameer Nelson after the GM inked him to a three-year contract worth a reported $13.5 million. Nelson, who enters his 12th year in the NBA, will be expected to take on the primary leadership role with the club Connelly said in a Tuesday interview with Gil Whiteley on Mile High Sports AM 1340.

Nelson, a 2009 All-Star, spent the first ten years of his career with Orlando before spending part of the 2014-15 season with three different teams: Dallas, Boston and, eventually, Denver. In the final 34 games of the season, he averaged 9.6 points and 3.7 assists per game with the Nuggets.

According to Connelly, Nelson has been charged with helping shepherd rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay as he adjusts to life in the NBA, calling Nelson “an ideal role model, not only for Emmanuel, but for a couple of other young guards as well.”

The role-model role is certainly a needed one on the roster after the team fell apart under former head coach Brian Shaw last season and the year prior. That issue was compounded greatly late in the season and into the offsesason as former Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson experienced a downward spiral of transgressions that included multiple DUI arrests and several social media faux pas, including slighting his own team on several occasions.

During the interview with Whiteley, Connelly revealed that a widely speculated deal to send Lawson to Sacramento never really had much substance, despite widespread reports.

Nelson’s leadership is already beginning to show this offseason, Connelly indicated, telling Whiteley that the veteran has organized and personally financed a team getaway to Philadelphia where they can work out, practice and grow as a team in off-court activities as well. “It’s impressive and speaks to the kind of person he is,” Connelly said.

Listen to the full interview, which includes conversation about new head coach Michael Malone as well as the Nuggets big men.

Listen to Gil Whiteley every weekday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Mile High Sports AM 1340 or Listen Live anytime for the best local coverage of your favorite Colorado teams.