Given how much turnover the Timberwolves‘ roster has undergone in recent months, the hiatus has at least provided president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders with an opportunity to pause and get familiar with their current players, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes.
“We’ve gotten to know our guys better than we had a month ago,” Rosas said. “Anything and everything that matters to them we’re trying to understand and we’re trying to build a commitment, we’re trying to build a community based on who individuals are and what they’re going through right now.”
According to Krawczynski, Saunders has made an effort to directly engage with his players since the hiatus began, reaching out to talk to them about their families and about basketball, and sending the message that the team cares about their well-being. As Krawczynski notes, it’s a part of the job that Saunders excels at and one that is more necessary than ever during this time.
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Dealing with Jordan Clarkson‘s free agency, working out an extension for Donovan Mitchell, and figuring out a good use for their mid-level exception will be among the top items on the Jazz‘s to-do list this offseason, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic.
- Ryan Novozinsky of Daily Thunder makes the case that Thunder general manager Sam Presti deserves to win 2020’s Executive of the Year award, arguing that the GM’s “magic” is the reason why Oklahoma City was a playoff team this season while also setting itself up well for years to come.
- In case you missed it, a pair of general managers for Northwest teams – Arturas Karnisovas (Nuggets) and Justin Zanik (Jazz) – have interviewed for a top basketball operations position in the Bulls’ front office. Karnisovas is viewed as the current frontrunner. (Update: The Bulls are finalizing a deal to hire Karnisovas).