Northwest Notes: Rosas, Reed, Bazley, Nuggets

Recently hired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is set to bring his worldly view and Latino roots to his new job with the Timberwolves, Chris Hine details in a story for the Star Tribune.

Minnesota hired Rosas, who previously spent 17 years in various basketball positions with the Rockets, as the team’s new president after a tumultuous regular season which saw the club trade its star player, fire its head coach and finish with just a 36-46 record.

“It’s definitely the road less traveled, and the odds are stacked against you,” Rosas said of being hired. “Being an immigrant in this country … it’s almost a responsibility, if somebody is willing to give you those opportunities, as an immigrant, a person coming into this country, you want to make the country proud.”

Rosas and his family migrated to America from Columbia when he was just three years old, according to Hine. His family settled in Houston, where Rosas discovered his love for the game of basketball and committed to starting a career. He’ll now be tasked with turning around a franchise in great turmoil last season, one that has a young star in Karl-Anthony Towns with several talented pieces around him.

“A lot of people have helped me get to this point, and because of that I have a responsibility to help others,” Rosas said. “We have such a special fraternity in the NBA, people that have been supportive of me. I need to help build a strong base, not only for Latinos but other individuals who want to be involved in the NBA.”

  • Free agent Willie Reed has committed to summer league with the Jazz, Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype reports (Twitter link). Reed, a three-year NBA veteran, held per-game averages of 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 21 games with Utah’s G League affiliate this past season.
  • Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman details Darius Bazley‘s uncommon path to the NBA. Bazley was selected by the Jazz with the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, who then traded him to Memphis. The Grizzlies later traded him to the Thunder.
  • The Nuggets aren’t scared of the ongoing arms race in the Western Conference, Mike Singer of the Denver Post writes. Denver has an intriguing young group headlined by star center Nikola Jokic going into the summer. “I think we focus on internal growth, focus on ourselves,” president Tim Connelly said of his team’s offseason focus. “I love our group, I love our core, love our coaching staff, so we’re pretty excited about whoever we’re competing against next season.”
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