The Minnesota Timberwolves shockingly fired president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas on Wednesday afternoon, less than a week before the team began training camp for the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season. Details on the reason for his dismissal began to trickle out later in the evening.
According to Mike Max of WCCO CBS Minnesota, Rosas was fired for two major reasons. The 43-year-old reportedly created a "toxic culture" within the organization and was revealed to be having an “inappropriate relationship” with another Wolves' staffer.
Rosas came to Minnesota in 2019 and overhauled the team's roster, but his moves have yet to yield results. Max reports that there are those within the Wolves organization that have been "put off" by the general manager and that the inappropriate relationship was the "final straw."
One other Timberwolves employee abruptly left the team Wednesday, according to Max.
Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reportedly obtained pictures of Rosas, who is married, and an unnamed female staffer kissing at the Minnesota United FC game last Saturday. Here's more:
"Rosas and the woman, each of whom is married, were seen kissing in a suite during a Minnesota United FC game last Saturday at Allianz Field, sources said. The soccer club was told to reserve luxury seating for several Timberwolves players and personnel, including assistant coach Pablo Prigioni. Two seats were filled by Rosas and the staffer," Fischer wrote Thursday.
"Those pictures have been obtained by Bleacher Report. One photograph is a close-up shot, clearly showing Rosas and the woman sitting beside one another in light blue cushioned seats, behind the suite's protective plexiglass. A second photograph follows, where the two have leaned towards one another for a romantic embrace."
The Timberwolves performance on the floor had also moved in the wrong direction since Rosas took over in 2019. Minnesota won just 19 games during the 2019-20 season and followed that up with a 23-win showing this past year. The Wolves finished 14th and 13th place, respectively, in the Western Conference standings in those two seasons.
Rosas was active in trying to improve Minnesota during his two years in charge of the organization's basketball operations. He traded three players, including former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, for former All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell in 2020 and drafted Anthony Edwards with the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. However, no move that he's made has drastically changed the trajectory of the franchise.
In the wake of Rosas' firing, Sachin Gupta will step into a role as the interim president of basketball operations. The Timberwolves plan to conduct a wide search for their next full-time hire at the position, with future owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez expected to play a role in the decision.