As a leading candidate among potential trade partners for a Ben Simmons deal, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been an organization we’ve had an eye on this offseason. Gersson Rosas was hired as Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations just two years ago, so it was a surprise to see this news come across the wire this afternoon:
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
It wasn’t just a surprise to those on the outside looking in, either:
The timing Rosas of firing indeed caught players and those in the organization by surprise as Rosas was still holding meetings and in the gym this morning, sources tell me and @ZachLowe_NBA https://t.co/g9LBNU9jNs— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) September 22, 2021
Always good business to keep your franchise player completely out of the loop on major personnel decisions.
Now, the move comes in the wake of a new ownership group, led by businessman Marc Lore and former Guest Shark Alex Rodriguez, buying the franchise a few months ago. It’s not unexpected for new owners to want “their guys” running the show. However, the move is especially interesting from the Sixers’ perspective for a couple reasons. One, maybe A-Rod is a big Ben Simmons fan, and Rosas just wasn’t willing to do whatever it took to close the deal. Secondly, per friend of the site Jake Fischer, Rosas’ replacement could be coming from inside the Sixers’ organization:
In wake of Gersson Rosas' departure, word has circulated among league sources since Summer League that incoming Minnesota Timberwolves owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez have communicated they are fond of Sixers general manager Elton Brand. A name to keep an eye on here.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) September 22, 2021
Brand has been operating as Philadelphia’s general manager since Daryl Morey was brought in as President of Basketball Operations last November. At the time, Elton received a contract extension, as a show of support that the franchise still valued his contributions in the executive suite. He had previously been the front office’s lead decision maker since September 2018, when he was elevated to conclude the “Team Collaboration” era in the wake of Bryan Colangelo’s Burnergate exit that spring.
For Brand, I would imagine he would jump at the opportunity to be the top guy in an NBA front office again. Minnesota has a number of interesting pieces, led by Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. The Timberwolves’ last playoff series win was way back in 2004, so any degree of success would make the next GM there a made man.
We’ll see where Lore and Rodriguez take the search, but best of luck to Brand if he is indeed in the running. Just don’t be afraid to throw an extra pick or two than is absolutely necessary into a Ben Simmons deal for your old pals, eh Elton.