Timberwolves’ front-office shakeup leaves a sour taste for woebegone franchise

Gersson Rosas and Sachin Gupta in 2020 NBA Draft Minnesota Timberwolves Team Operations Room
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NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

The Timberwolves fired team president Gersson Rosas just six days before training camp after uncovering he had an intimate relationship with another member of the organization.

It was a shocking scandal. Except to Karl-Anthony Towns.

“Just add it to the list,” the Minnesota star said. “It’s just the same thing every single time. It’s something that always leads to instability every single time.”

Just three years ago, this grade was headlined: “Timberwolves in turmoil.” After handling Jimmy Butler‘s trade request and getting past his adversarial relationship toward Towns, Minnesota isn’t facing such a crisis this time.

Rosas had not proven to be a quality lead executive, even if considering only his ability to build a quality team. The timing of his ouster, while odd, isn’t devastating. Though most front-office leaders get the season to show how their offseason moves pan out, Rosas was already on thin ice with new incoming owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore. Interim replacement Sachin Gupta, let alone whomever the Timberwolves ultimately hire, could definitely be better at even just the basketball aspects of the job than Rosas.

But the scandal was yet another ugly moment for a franchise that has had more than enough losses just on the court.

The good news: Towns doesn’t seem to be trying to force his way to one of the league’s numerous better situations. The incredibly talented 25-year-old represents Minnesota’s best path forward.

He even joked about saying the day before the Rosas news broke that the Timberwolves had such a quiet offseason.

Towns was definitely right about the quiet offseason. Minnesota traded Ricky Rubio, traded for Patrick Beverley, re-signed Jarred Vanderbilt (three years, $13.12 million) and Jordan McLaughlin (three years, $6.48 million) and signed 2020 No. 23 pick Leandro Bolmaro. That was about it. The Timberwolves didn’t even have a pick in this year’s draft.

Minnesota could use Beverley’s nastiness. The veteran point guard came cheap from the Grizzlies – for an unhappy Juancho Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver, the 2019 No. 6 pick who has looked like a bust so far.

Especially with Beverley incoming, Minnesota did well to unload Rubio for lower-paid player, a second-round pick and cash. That lower-paid player, Taurean Prince, might even help on the court. Timberwolves need depth at forward.

They also need to earn a better reputation. This offseason was a step in the wrong direction.

Offseason grade: C-