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Minnesota Timberwolves fire Gersson Rosas: What it means

Vincent Frank

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday shocked the NBA world by firing President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas one week before the team is set to open training camp.

“Today, the Minnesota Timberwovles 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,” outgoing owner Glen Taylor said in a statement.

The shock factor with this one is real. To many, Rosas has done a tremendous job as the head of the Wolves’ front office. Outside of the ill-fated trade of Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors and the selection of Jarrett Culver in the top 10 of the 2019 NBA Draft, Rosas has done what he can to bring Minnesota a sense of relevance around the NBA.

Now, it’s time to look at what the firing of Gersson Rosas means for the Timberwolves moving forward.

Alex Rodriguez already making a power play

Alex Rodriguez had his hand in the firing of Gersson Rosas
Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Fox Sports analyst Alex Rodriguez before Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

While Rodriguez and partner Marc Lore won’t be controlling owners until 2023, it’s rather clear that they played a role in the decision to move off Gersson Rosas. Generally speaking, new owners want their own guys in positions of power. Rosas is a Taylor guy. That’s an obvious backdrop to this.

Related: Find out where the Minnesota Timberwolves stand in our NBA power rankings

It will be interesting to see who Minnesota brings in to replace the highly-respected front office head. It’s obviously going to be someone Rodriguez and Lore approve of. But with the Wolves’ preseason opener two weeks away, time is a factor in this. Look for a potential interim guy before Minnesota’s brass makes a decision on a long-term replacement in the coming months. Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand is said to be an option. He pretty much gave up player personnel control when Daryl Morey joined the organization.

What the Gersson Rosas firing means for Ben Simmons sweepstakes

what the gersson rosas firing means for ben simmons
Jun 20, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) dribbles the ball against Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) during the first quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s another interesting aspect to this firing. As mentioned above, Brand is apparently a candidate to replace Rosas. What does that mean for the Wolves? Well, there’s a direct correlation here with enigmatic 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons, who wants out from Philadelphia.

Minnesota has been linked to Simmons on a near never-ending loop over the past several months. The team’s interest in Simmons has not been what we’d call a well-kept secret.

Now that the Wolves are being linked to Brand, the math really isn’t too difficult. Could Minnesota be looking at making a franchise-altering move for the point guard? It’s certainly something to keep an eye on.

Reactions to the Gersson Rosas firing

Needless to say, those around the NBA were shocked by this move. We’re talking big time players in the media world being thrown for a loop.

“In the 2 weeks, Gersson Rosas was allowed to make the Patrick Beverley trade, bring back Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin and sign first-round pick Leandro Bolmaro,” former NBA general manager Bobby Marks wrote on Twitter. “Now six days before training camp, Minnesota is looking for a new head of basketball operations.”

Star Wolves big man Karl Anthony Towns followed that up with a three letter tweet that explains the mentality of the roster right now.

It’s absolutely wild that Minnesota did not talk to its franchise cornerstone before making this franchise-altering move.

Obviously, something has to be up on this front. It’s a major storyline with the 2021-22 NBA regular season slated to get going in less than a month.