The NBA draft is less than two months away and free agency begins two months from Sunday, and the Timberwolves have not named a permanent head of their basketball operations.
Since the Wolves fired former President Gersson Rosas in September, executive vice president Sachin Gupta has run the day-to-day operations without a bump in title.
Gupta has negotiated a one-year extension for Patrick Beverley, inked coach Chris Finch to an extension and led the Wolves in preparation for the draft, in which they hold the No. 19 overall pick and three picks in the second round.
But Wolves ownership hasn’t made any announcements about the state of the basketball operations moving forward. Gupta deflected a question about his contract status at Saturday’s exit interviews.
“I won’t comment on that, but I’m in this role now and it’s a big summer for us and I’m focused entirely on that,” Gupta said. “Coach and I and our staffs are excited to put this team together for a bigger year next year.”
Will Glen Taylor, Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez go outside the organization for a potential big name to come and run the show, as some around the league think they might? Or will they keep the continuity of Gupta and Finch together? Both have spoken about the strong partnership they have had running the team since Rosas was fired. That kind of symbiotic relationship between the front office and coaching staff can be a rare commodity in the NBA.
Finch stumped for Gupta to get the job and has communicated his feelings to ownership.
“They know my feelings about Sach,” Finch said. “They know that I think he’s outstanding and he’s been a huge reason that we have stability in this organization right now. He’s very smart. We have complete alignment. The players love him. He’s appropriate in his presence around the team. He’s not heavy-handed with the coaching staff. He does his job.
“I’m a huge fan, and I’ve advocated for him to have his opportunity to be the guy to run this team. Nothing would make me happier than that.”
If Gupta is in charge over the next few months, expect him to address the team’s rebounding.
“Defensive rebounding was obviously a big issue in this series and all year long,” Gupta said. “That might be a more personnel thing and more size can certainly help. There’s a mix for sure in terms of how we can address some of those areas and weaknesses just with development and internal growth and others that we may have to address with the roster.”
Next steps for Edwards
Anthony Edwards showed up for his exit interview early Saturday just a little exhausted from Friday night.
“Man, I’m tired. I just want to go to sleep,” Edwards said.
Edwards initially said he didn’t want to talk basketball but, as the conversation got going, he said he was getting more excited for what he will do in the offseason.
“I’m just going to get extremely better,” Edwards said. “Just talking about basketball, I’m going to get extremely better. Weight room, my shape, change a lot of stuff and, on the court, come back better than I was this year.”
Among the things Edwards said he will work on — a post-up game and his shooting.
“Three-point shooting is still going to be top of the list, because you know you’ve got to keep that sharp,” Edwards said. “Because some guys just naturally can shoot, and I’m not one of those guys. I’ve got to work on it.”
Guard Patrick Beverley was asked what improvement he was most proud of from the team through the course of the season
“I would say composure, but we didn’t hold our composure that well at the end. So I can’t say that,” Beverley said. “I’d say camaraderie. We grew as a band of brothers. We hang out a lot on and off the court, on the road. It’s a brotherhood here. I wanted to establish a culture like that, a strong culture like that.”