Northwest Notes: Wolves, Rosas, Horford, Nuggets

While most people around the NBA expected Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to bring in his own head coach at some point, many believed it wouldn’t happen until the offseason, when it would be easier to pursue someone an assistant on a rival team like Chris Finch, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic.

Addressing the timing of the move, Hollinger wonders if Rosas felt some urgency to act quickly because he’s starting to feel his own seat getting hotter. Many of Rosas’ major moves since he arrived haven’t been major successes so far, including his deal for D’Angelo Russell and the decision to trade up in the 2019 draft for Jarrett Culver.

That doesn’t mean that Rosas’ job is in any danger, particularly since some of his moves – including the acquisition of Malik Beasley and the signing of Naz Reid – have worked out well. Still, his honeymoon period is probably over, so he may have felt he couldn’t afford to wait another half-season to make a head coaching change if he’d already decided to move on from Ryan Saunders.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examine what’s next for the Timberwolves after their coaching change, with Tjarks focusing on what changes Finch could consider implementing in the short term and Pincus exploring how Minnesota could upgrade its roster.
  • It will be a challenge for the Thunder to get much in a trade for Al Horford, given his pricey contract, but his play this season has boosted his value, contends Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City has struggled this season without Horford on the court, particularly defensively.
  • Though Michael Porter Jr. has struggled to find an offensive rhythm since returning from a bout with COVID-19, the Nuggets are not inclined to deal him unless they get a Bradley Beal-style difference-maker in return, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athetic. However, they might be interested in making a more modest non-Porter trade involving a defensive stalwart such as the Thunder’s Luguentz Dort or the Cavaliers’ Larry Nance Jr.

Dana Gauruder contributed to this post.

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