Timberwolves Notes: Rosas, Saunders, Layden

With the Timberwolves set to hire Gersson Rosas as their new president of basketball operations, the next issue to address will be determining who will coach the team next season.

Patrick Reusse of The Star Tribune contends that Ryan Saunders didn’t show enough during his stretch as the Wolves’ interim head coach to lock him into the job going forward, arguing that Saunders should instead be offered the head coaching position for Minnesota’s G League affiliate in Des Moines. That would give him the opportunity to show his potential to lead an NBA team, while allowing Rosas to hand-pick his own coach to lead the Timberwolves.

However, that doesn’t appear to be a likely scenario at this point. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes that Rosas has a “long-standing connection” with Saunders, and while nothing has been finalized in regard to his future, Saunders is widely expected to be named the Wolves’ permanent head coach. Virtually all of Minnesota’s players – including star Karl-Anthony Towns – would be on board with that move, per Krawczynski.

As we wait to see what happens with Saunders, here are a few more notes out of Minnesota:

  • The Wolves’ initial plan after interviewing four candidates for their president of basketball operations vacancy had been to trim the field to two finalists before making a decision, according to Krawczynski. However, Rosas stood out to such a degree that the team ultimately decided to simply go with him.
  • Minnesota liked Rosas’ polished presentation and the success he had in Houston, and believes he’s someone who is capable of uniting all levels of the organization, sources tell Krawczynski. Rosas also received some strong recommendations during the vetting process, including a glowing review from former Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale, who worked with the veteran exec in Houston.
  • Rosas briefly left the Rockets in 2013 to become the Mavericks’ GM, but returned to Houston after just three months when both sides decided the fit wasn’t right. According to Krawczynski, Rosas didn’t have the level of control he expected in Dallas, with Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban still calling the shots. That shouldn’t be an issue in Minnesota, where he’ll be unquestionably be running the show.
  • It’s not clear yet whether GM Scott Layden will be retained, per Krawczynski. Layden still has two years and $4MM left on his contract and has a reputation for being team-oriented, so Krawczynski believes he may stick with the Wolves in some capacity.
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8 thoughts on “Timberwolves Notes: Rosas, Saunders, Layden

  1. x%sure

    Rosas hung in there on that interview trail and developed a “polished presentation” instead of getting mad at the process. Way to go!

  2. Pablo

    Please don’t move KAT! It’s the one major source of pride. Hopefully he moves Wiggins to target center post game cleaning crew. Maybe they’ll get some value from him at least.

  3. nentwigs

    The Timberwolves next issues to address are:
    #1) Coming up with an excuse for how Glen Taylor screwed up once again and selected “the wrong guy”.
    #2) Trying to undo and or recover from the damage done to the organization by Mr. Rosas in his vain attempts to turnaround the jinxed Timberwolves.
    #3) Attempting to locate and hire yet another warm body who not only has an interest in the top job but is also able to BS their way into getting Glen Taylor’s approval by conning Taylor into believing that the candidate ACTUALLY knows what they are doing.

      • nentwigs

        The track record of Glen Taylor’s basketball hires is hardly impressive and mostly very disturbing.
        Add to that, input/recommendation on the Rosas hire was received from Kevin McHale – hardly a shining example himself in his role as either GM or Coach with the Timberwolves organization.
        Was DAVID K – A – H – N also consulted on this hire?

  4. OHjohns

    With age, comes maturity. Without Butler around, this off season will need to be a strong one for Wiggins. Build some confidence in Wiggins. If he can take the next step, this team can win games.

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