The Minnesota Timberwolves are Timberwolves-ing again. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Gersson Rosas has agreed to part ways with the team. Current GM Sachin Gupta will be promoted in his place.
Just in: The Minnesota Timberwolves are parting ways with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2021
Timberwolves Part Ways with Gersson Rosas
Rosas was hired by the Timberwolves in May of 2019, after the midseason firing of Tom Thibodeau. This decision made sense as he was a former colleague of GM Gupta, therefore joining two of the men that put together the James Harden-led Rockets. Rosas would spend that trade deadline shaking up the roster. He shipped out aging veterans for youth, acquiring Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez in the process. He then addressed the point guard hole and got rid of a disgruntled player by moving Andrew Wiggins and a lightly protected first-round pick for D’Angelo Russell, killing two birds with one stone. As the cherry on top, he uncovered Naz Reid and Jordan McLaughlin, two solid bench pieces.
That offseason, head coach Ryan Saunders was resigned, and Rosas traded up in the draft to select Jarrett Culver. These ill-advised moves would come to haunt the team in the next season.
The 2019-20 season would turn out to be a dud for the Timberwolves. Culver was unimpressive, Saunders never seemed to get a hold on coaching, and the team skidded into a number one draft pick. Come draft night, Rosas spent that pick on Anthony Edwards, bringing in Jaden McDaniels, Leandro Bolmaro, and trading for Ricky Rubio along on the way. With the weight of even more expectations for the 2020-21 season, the Timberwolves continued to fail. Rosas decided to fire Saunders midway through the season, replacing him with Chris Finch, another familiar face from his Houston days. Acclimating to the new coach would take up the rest of the season.
Searching for Why
At this point, Rosas clearly had a plan in place. He had his core and would continue to work along margins for improvement. He traded Rubio and Hernangomez away for Taurean Prince and Patrick Beverley, respectively. The only thing he needed was a move that was going to put them over the top. Rosas needed a move that would vault the Minnesota Timberwolves to a serious team in the Western Conference. That move was supposedly Ben Simmons.
Looking at Rosas’ tenure, it clearly didn’t go smoothly, but he had direction and a feasible path to success. As far as we know at this moment, Rosas has done nothing wrong to deserve being fired in the days leading up to training camp. The only thing that could prompt a firing at this time would be negotiations in a Simmons trade. The Timberwolves have made it clear that they do not want to trade Russell or Edwards for Simmons, and would prefer to keep McDaniels. Could Rosas have been ignoring these requests? If he were the only one in the front office that was willing to let go of Russell or Edwards, that could’ve prompted upper management to let him go.
If we go further off the edge, new ownership can lead to some strange decisions. With Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore coming in, they might want to make their mark on the front office. It would simply be in Timberwolves fashion to follow through with that decision so close to the start of the season. Maybe Glen Taylor wanted to make a change just to be bitter? Maybe Rosas made a bad decision behind the scenes? It’s all confusing at the moment.
Embed from Getty Images