Minnesota Timberwolves: Two front office candidates emerge

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 7: Owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Glen Taylor. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 7: Owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Glen Taylor. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly interviewing two highly-respected front office executives for their vacant president of basketball operations role.

After nearly a week of not hearing anything regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ search for a front office boss, a couple of names came down on Tuesday.

Just prior to the season finale, the Wolves announced their intention to open a search for the next president of basketball operations, one of the two roles vacated by Tom Thibodeau when he was fired in January. While it would be completely fair for the lot of jaded Timberwolves fans to simply assume that the new hire would be a retread of sorts, things may not turn out that way.

Or, if they ultimately do, at least the path the Wolves are taking to get there will be the scenic route. Or something like that.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that the Timberwolves were granted permission to interview Los Angeles Clippers general manager Michael Winger, who is the No. 2 to president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank.

L.A.’s front office was overhauled in recent years after head coach Doc Rivers was stripped of his personnel title and Frank was put in charge. Since then, the Clippers have remade themselves on the fly, weathering the storm of trading away both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin while still not finishing with a losing record in the rough-and-tumble Western Conference.

Two years ago, the Clippers won 51 games and landed the No. 4 seed in the West. Last year, they stayed above the .500-mark at 42-40 but finished in 10th and missed the playoffs. Now, despite trading away Tobias Harris — the centerpiece of the Griffin trade a year prior — midseason in exchange for promising rookie Landry Shamet and a pair of first-round picks, the Clippers managed 48 wins and the No. 8 seed in the West.

Clearly, some combination of Frank and Winger know what they’re doing. And Winger’s past work experience isn’t bad either: seven years in Oklahoma City with Sam Presti and time spent in Cleveland with Danny Ferry, two highly-respected front office bosses from from largely successful organizations.

Later on Tuesday, Houston Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen reported that the Wolves had been granted permission to interview Rockets vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas. Rosas has interviewed for recent front office openings in Philadelphia and Charlotte.

Outside of a three-month stint with the Dallas Mavericks, Gersson has spent the entirety of his 20-year NBA career with the Rockets, who, of course, have been wildly successful during that span.

Given that the Wolves haven’t though outside the box much when it comes to their personnel decision-makers — no, David Kahn doesn’t count — this comes as a welcome breath of fresh air. Competent, well-regarded basketball minds from successful and largely forward-thinking organizations.

Sign me up.

dark. Next. Wolves Player Review: C.J. Williams

We’ll have any other breaking news when it comes to the front office search here at Dunking With Wolves as we continue our player review series.