When the Timberwolves co-hosted a group predraft workout in July for 48 players over four days, it was open to attendance for all 30 teams, and rival team officials observed how Rosas never joined his own Minnesota staff during the event. While they all congregated in a section of the Target Center, sources said, Rosas instead spent the majority of the time on the opposite sideline with then-Jazz executive vice president Dennis Lindsey, a mentor dating back to their shared days in Houston and whose Jazz co-hosted the event. “[Rosas and his team] couldn’t have been farther apart. It was extremely evident there was tension. It was really almost uncomfortable,” said an Eastern Conference executive.
Prior to the announcement, The Athletic had spent the last several weeks investigating the working environment under Rosas and interviewed numerous sources on the current staff about the situation after learning of mounting discontent. Some said Rosas worked his staff long hours without giving much input into the decision-making process. Others took issue with decisions made on personnel moves and trades, including the light protections on a first-round draft pick that landed them D’Angelo Russell from Golden State, Rosas’ signature move.
Some of the issues were exacerbated this summer when Rosas and Gupta butted heads over Rosas’ decision to block Gupta from making a lateral move to the Houston Rockets with increased pay, sources said. Rosas said the timing of the request, coming right before the draft and free agency, made it impossible for the Timberwolves to let someone with as much proprietary knowledge of the team’s plans go to a competitor. The tension between Rosas and Gupta only grew later in August when Rosas banished Gupta from the team’s offices and granted him permission to seek employment elsewhere, according to sources. The issue was resolved in early September after ownership got involved and Gupta decided to stay.
When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.
Scottie Barnes: I remember walking into the green room after Adam Silver called my name, and some people from the front office were waiting for me. We were shaking hands, and making introductions, and I was so excited I could barely get the words out. But there was one main thing that I really wanted to get across about myself: I’m ready to work. Not ease into it, not half-do things or make excuses because I’m one of the new guys. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to grind. I’m ready to WIN. And I could tell that the feeling was definitely mutual. So, to the fans, I want y’all to hear it straight from me: I couldn’t be happier to be here in Toronto.