Josh Gershon

Timberwolves Notes: Staff Changes, Edwards, Towns

The Timberwolves have promoted college scouting coordinator Josh Gershon to director of basketball intelligence and assistant general manager of the Iowa Wolves, their G League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. Minnesota also announced the promotions of Jeff Newton (assistant coach/quality control coach) and James White (player development assistant).

White’s name is probably the most recognizable of those three — he was the 31st overall pick in the 2006 draft and appeared in a total of 63 NBA games with the Spurs, Rockets, and Knicks between 2006-13. He has since transitioned to coaching, having been an assistant in Iowa last season. Both he and Newton – who was Iowa’s head coach for the past two years – will join Chris Finch‘s staff in Minnesota.

“All three have earned their new roles and added responsibilities. Working with each has been wonderful,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said of Gershon, Newton, and White. “As an organization we have benefited greatly from their unique backgrounds. Excited to see the continued growth of Josh, Jeff and James. All three have tremendously bright futures.”

Here’s more on the T-Wolves:

  • Rising star Anthony Edwards is changing his jersey number from No. 1 to No. 5 for the coming season, per Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. While a number change shouldn’t have any real on-court impact on Edwards, The Athletic’s duo – in detailing the importance of No. 5 to the Timberwolves guard – note that he’s a “vibes player,” so if he feels better wearing his new number, it should only benefit the team. “He’s already a player that has confidence, but I think you’ll see a little step up in his swagger with the No. 5 on his chest,” said Edwards’ friend and business manager Justin Holland.
  • In the latest episode of his Jon Krawczynski Show podcast, the beat writer from The Athletic discusses Karl-Anthony Towns‘ decision to represent the Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Cup, observing that the Timberwolves big man is feeling 100% again after missing most of last season due to a calf injury. “He said it several times, both publicly and privately as well, that he could just feel that that calf was not where it needed to be,” Krawczynski said (per HoopsHype). “And when I caught up with him in Las Vegas, he said that he was feeling fully healthy again, for the first time since before he was injured.”
  • As our roster counts page shows, the Timberwolves are currently carrying 14 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-way deals, with a two-way qualifying offer still on the table for swingman Matt Ryan. If Ryan were to accept that QO, Minnesota would have no open two-way slots left, but would still have room to add up to four additional players to its offseason roster.

Rudy Tomjanovich Joins Timberwolves As Consultant

Never underestimate the heart of Rudy Tomjanovich. The two-time title-winning former Rockets head coach has joined the Timberwolves as a player personnel consultant, the team announced today in a press release.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Tomjanovich worked to scout and evaluate talent for the Wolves ahead of the 2020 draft.

Tomjanovich was a five-time All-Star as a forward from 1970-1981. He spent his entire league tenure with the Rockets. He was drafted out of Michigan with the second pick by the Rockets when the team was still based in San Diego. Upon retiring, he was an assistant coach for Houston from 1983-1992.

A 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, Tomjanovich holds a 527–416 record as a head coach. He served in that capacity with the Rockets from 1992-2003, and with the Lakers for the 2004/05 season.

Tomjanovich won his titles with Houston in 1994 and 1995, with teams fronted by Hall-of-Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, plus point guard Sam Cassell and power forward Robert Horry.

Former Rockets director of player performance Javair Gillett is also among the Timberwolves’ new basketball operations additions, having been named the team’s VP of sports science and player performance. Joseph Blair (assistant coach), Aaron Blackshear (director of analytics), and Josh Gershon (college scouting coordinators) were among the other hires announced by Minnesota.