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Gersson Rosas Fired as T-Wolves President of Basketball Ops; Sachin Gupta Promoted

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2021

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Wednesday they parted ways with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

"As an organization, we remain committed to building a winning team that our fans and city can be proud of," team governor Glen Taylor said.

The Timberwolves hired Rosas to the post in May 2019.

According to B/R's Jake Fischer, executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta will be promoted to replace Rosas. 

Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns appeared to react to Rosas' firing:

Karl-Anthony Towns @KarlTowns

wtf…

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe reported the decision "caught players and those in the organization by surprise as Rosas was still holding meetings and in the gym this morning."

The timing of the move is bound to raise questions, though the Star Tribune's Chris Hine provides some context:

Chris Hine @ChristopherHine

There has been a building discord between Rosas, the rest of the front office and the organization that has been going on for months, sources said. The team decided to take action now before the season begins instead of letting that discord linger.

Minnesota tips off the regular season Oct. 20 against the Houston Rockets, and the window to improve the roster through the draft or free agency has long since passed.

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The Wolves have, however, been linked with Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. Bleacher Report's Sean Highkin reported that Rosas was "feeling pressure to make a big splash to impress the new ownership group."

Sean Highkin @highkin

A lot of the Timberwolves/Simmons stuff I had heard had stemmed from Gersson feeling pressure to make a big splash to impress new the new ownership group. Now he's gone. Will be interesting to see how this impacts the Simmons situation.

Krawczynski wrote Aug. 31 while at the Las Vegas Summer League he "came away with the impression that the Timberwolves were the team that was most active in talks to try to make a Simmons deal happen."

Still, Minnesota wasn't willing to move Towns or Anthony Edwards, while D'Angelo Russell didn't appear to be the cornerstone the Philadelphia 76ers would want in a trade package.

There's bound to be a perception that Rosas' firing and the Simmons rumors are linked, as there might have been a disconnect between Rosas and other Timberwolves higher-ups about how much they should be willing to offer for Simmons. 

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, who will eventually take control of the organization from Taylor, "have communicated they are fond" of Sixers general manager Elton Brand.

That will only fuel more speculation surrounding Simmons.

Towns is under contract for three more years, but the Anthony Davis and James Harden trade sagas showed how star players are increasingly feeling more freedom to request exits before their deals expire.

The acquisition of Russell was widely viewed as a move to appease the two-time All-Star given their friendship. It was also a tacit acknowledgment of the ticking clock the franchise is facing from Towns' free agency in 2024.

Between Rosas' ouster and Towns' reaction to it, a number of Timberwolves fans might be reaching for the panic button.

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