How firing GM impacts Timberwolves’ future for Karl-Anthony Towns and potential Ben Simmons trade

How firing GM impacts Timberwolves' future for Karl-Anthony Towns and potential Ben Simmons trade


The Timberwolves are parting ways with president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

Rosas’ dismissal comes five days before the NBA’s start of training camp on Monday, a delicate time for such a decision. But according to Chris Hine of the Star Tribune, “there has been a growing discord and strained relationships between Rosas, the front office and the rest of the organization” in the last few months, leading to his dismissal. 

Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns immediately voiced his displeasure with the decision. 

Rosas, who was hired by Minnesota in May 2019, made an assortment of moves during his tenure. Only two players remain from the Timberwolves’ active roster from the 2018-19 season, Towns and guard Josh Okogie, after a number of trades and acquisitions. 

Here’s a look back at Rosas’ tenure and what his dismissal will mean for Minnesota moving forward. 

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Major moves under Gersson Rosas

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According to Dylan Jackson of DunkingWithWolves.com, Rosas made 10 trades through July 2021, the most notable one being the Timberwolves’ acquisition of point guard D’Angelo Russell, forward Omari Spellman and guard Jacob Evans from the Timberwolves in Feb. 2020 for forward Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick. 

So far, the trade appears to be a flop for Minnesota, as Russell has played just 54 games since he was dealt. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in February of this season and missed 26 contests from Feb. 10 to April 3, something that contributed to Minnesota finishing 13th in the Western Conference with a 23-49 record. 

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves’ 2021 pick turned into the No. 7 pick for Golden State which it used on Jonathan Kuminga, a raw wing with massive upside who many considered a top-five pick. Wiggins has also been a productive and durable piece for the Warriors, appearing in 71 of their 72 games last year. 

Rosas also acquired point guard Ricky Rubio in November 2020, but the move did not work well. Rubio’s statistics dipped considerably from his 2019-20 season with the Suns, as he struggled to pair with Russell, another ball-dominant player. 

Not all of Rosas’ moves were bad though. The Timberwolves made appeared to make a great selection with Anthony Edwards, who was named to the All-Rookie first-team while averaging 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists, with the first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. 

Potential for a Ben Simmons trade 

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According to BetMGM, the TImberwolves have the best odds to land Simmons at plus-400. They were reportedly the most active team in trying to acquire Simmons this summer, though no deal was made. 

Minnesota prefers to keep its core of Towns, Edwards and Russell in any a potential trade for Simmons, according to Dan Feldman of NBC Sports, and could include Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie and Jaden McDaniels, among other players, in a deal. However, Philadelphia is looking to win now, something that could force Russell into a package. 

Here’s a look at a timeline of Simmons being moved into trade talks this summer. 

Who will become the next GM for the Minnesota Timberwolves?

In the immediate term, the Timberwolves promoted Sachin Gupta to interim head of basketball operations. Gupta is an analytics guru, creator of ESPN’s trade machine, and protege of former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Presti. The Timberwolves announced they will begin a search for a permanent replacement and Gupta will receive consideration for the position.

Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Minnesota owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez are “fond of” 76ers general manager Elton Brand for their open president of basketball operations position. 

Brand was named a player development consultant for Philadelphia in December 2016 and promoted to general manager in September 2018. Some of his notable moves were trading for current Heat star Jimmy Butler in November 2018, signing Celtics forward Al Horford to a multi-year deal in July 2019 and hiring current coach Doc Rivers in Oct. 2020. Brand previously played 17 years in the NBA and was named a two-time All-Star. It is unknown if Brand has mutual interest in the role, but it would provide him an opportunity to work with a young, promising core in Minnesota. 

The Timberwolves have made the playoffs once over the previous 17 seasons entering 2021-22.





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.