What the new Timberwolves president is looking for in a head coach, and what he thinks of Wiggins

“I’m super excited about coming here to the Timberwolves."

The Chad Hartman Show
May 06, 2019 - 3:53 pm

Gersson Rosas spent the past 17 years of his career helping to build the Houston Rockets into a championship contending franchise.

Saturday, Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, was his farewell tour. Amidst a playoff run, he said good-bye players, executives, ownership and the many others who prepared him for this next opportunity.

Monday morning, he was officially introduced as the president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

On Monday afternoon, he got to work.

“I’m super excited about coming here to the Timberwolves,” he told News Talk 830 WCCO’s Chad Hartman during an in-studio interview.

RELATED: New Wolves boss says focus is on ownership mandate to become a world-class organization

Rosas and Hartman discussed everything from the upcoming NBA Draft, draft lottery, Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins’ future and character traits he is looking for in the franchise’s next head coach.

Below are Rosas’ top-5 quotes from his exclusive sit-down with Hartman.

When asked if the Timberwolves will be active in free agency and in trades:

"It’s hard to get deals done. But I can guarantee you it won’t be for the lack of trying. Players that become available, if they’re an upgrade or high level talent, they’re going to be targets for us and we’re going to be very aggressive to go and acquire them.

Moving up in the draft is going to be a priority for us. At free agency, being creative. We’re limited in terms of cap space but there are sign and trade options. There are different things that we can do. We’re going to explore everything. In my job, my responsibility, you can’t be shy, you can’t be sensitive about being told ‘no.’

In Houston we go after Chris Paul three times, and we don’t get him until the third time."

Implementing Houston’s blueprint into Minnesota’s offensive scheme:

"The focus in on a balanced approach. We want to maximize our roster based on what we have, but also, regardless of what the roster looks like, we want to play smart and efficient. It doesn’t necessarily mean three’s and layups. It means what are the best shots for your team? What are the best shots in basketball, in terms of how you want to play?

For us, there is definitely going to be an increase in both of those things, and that’s because they are good things. It’s not because James Harden does it, it’s because they are shots that equate to winning. "

On Andrew Wiggins

"Andrew needs to get back to enjoying playing basketball. I was very fortunate to see him at a very young age as a very heralded prospect and to see what his potential is like. The reality is, you look around the league, there aren’t many guys that have as much talent or as much upside as he has.

My approach is one of working inside out. We’re going to do everything possible to support, help and grow Andrew here. That’s style of play, that’s development, that’s player wellness, in every aspect."

The potential ceilings for Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns:

"If a player believes in something, he’s going to work. If he doesn’t believe in it, it doesn’t matter what you or I do, it’s not going to work. I have a lot of confidence, we’ve had a lot of success in players just being put in a position to be successful and responding to it over time.

James Harden is an MVP at 29. It takes time. Hakeem Olajuwon winning a championship at 33. You know I think Karl’s greatest, and Andrew’s greatest, lie ahead and its our responsibility as an organization to maximize those periods."

Who will name the next head coach?  

"Glen (Taylor, majority owner of the team) has been a great partner even early in these stages and he’s given me the freedom to make the decision myself.

The things that are going to be important to me is the ability to lead, the ability to communicate and impact players, the ability to impact the community, but also the understanding of where tis game is at now. It’s a modern game. It’s a different way to play offensively and defensively. I need a partner that shares that philosophy.

I need a partner on the coaching side that values player development."

Listen to the full interview here

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