Minnesota Timberwolves

Timberwolves finally embrace modern NBA with Gersson Rosas hire

The Minnesota Timberwolves need to step out of their comfort zone, and they’re primed to do that with Gersson Rosas coming in as president of basketball operations.

The Minnesota Timberwolves completed a cycle of interviews for their new president of basketball operations earlier this week. On Wednesday afternoon, after a second interview with owner Glen Taylor, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Gersson Rosas is coming in to be Minnesota’s new lead executive.

Outside of a brief stint as Dallas Mavericks general manager in 2013, Rosas has spent most of the last two decades with the Houston Rockets. A native of Bogota, Colombia, he will become the NBA’s first Latino top executive and he also works for USA Basketball in a player personnel role.

The Golden State Warriors have gotten a lot of credit for changing the NBA, or more specifically stretching offensive efficiency and proficiency out to the 3-point line.

But the Rockets have been right alongside them, setting the bar for being a prolific 3-point shooting team while also being at the forefront in using analytics.

The Timberwolves have lacked forward thinking people in their organization, due in part to Taylor making lackluster hires. That was never more evident than under Tom Thibodeau, who was fired from his dual role as coach and team president in January.

This past season, the Timberwolves were 26th in the league in 3-point attempts per game (28.7), and 19th in percentage (35.1 percent). The Rockets were first in attempts by a good margin (45.4 per game), and 10th in percentage (35.6 percent).

In 2017-18, Minnesota was last in the league in attempts from beyond the arc (22.5 per game), while Houston was, as expected, first (42.3). In 2016-17 it was the same, as the Timberwolves attempted a league-low 21 3-pointers per game and the Rockets had a league-high 40.3 attempts per game.

Even going back to 2015-16, the Rockets had the second-most 3-point attempts (30.9 per game) while the Timberwolves were second-to-last (16.4 per game).

Rosas won’t suddenly turn the Timberwolves, as they’re currently constructed, into a team that jacks up 3-pointers from all angles.

But he will bring credibility from having worked in a successful organization, ideally with the autonomy to make some tough decisions and inject some Rockets-tinged thinking into an organization that needs that fresh perspective.

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