I’ll be the first to admit that I’m overly pessimistic about the Minnesota Timberwolves. When they make any sort of move, my first reaction is to figure out how what they just did will inevitably blow up in their faces.
Based upon Jon Krawczynski’s reporting yesterday morning, there seems to be a legitimate chance that the Timberwolves did not screw this up. If you can read Jon’s article, read it, but we’re going to hit the highlights here.
The first thing that really stuck out was who was in charge of the entire President of Basketball Operations search.
Ethan Casson did things differently. Like a businessman would, he ran this search like he was searching for his new Chief Operations Officer. The difference, obviously, is that this is not just any business. It’s a professional basketball organization that’s worth over $1.25 billion, per a February Forbes report.
Aware that he may not have all of the expertise required to handle this tall task on his own, Casson went out and found people who could complement him, and each other, in order to find the right candidate.
That kind of humility from an executive is something that’s been missing around the Target Center since Flip Saunders passed away. Without being overly philosophical, being the CEO of a billion-dollar operation and still having the awareness to realize that you don’t have all the answers is really important.
I’d imagine that Casson felt relatively comfortable working through the mechanics of the business side of the operation with candidates, but the extra effort that was made to include different types of people is huge. It almost never hurts to have a more diverse pool of opinions to draw from.
The area where Casson likely needed the most help in this search was understanding the specifics of the actual basketball side of things. For this perspective, he turned to a few of the most well respected people within the organization/area: Jim Petersen and Cheryl Reeve. Reeve’s coaching resume with the Lynx speaks for itself. A four-time WNBA Champion and two-time WNBA coach of the year, Reeve knows what it takes to win in Minnesota. Jim Pete, the former Gopher turned play-by-play analyst was a great voice to add to the mix as well. Besides his actual X’s and O’s intelligence, which he shows on a nightly basis, this quote should make you feel good about his presence in the search.
Whether it should be this way or not, the way a fan base feels is really important to an organization. It’s never a bad thing for butts to be in seats and for the fans to support the team. Having a medium between the fans and the front office in the search committee feels like a win.
Beyond what went into choosing Casson’s search committee, the reasons that he cited for hiring Rosas should instill confidence in the fan base.
Now, we’ll want to be weary of buzzwords and catchphrases that don’t really mean anything, but in a business sense, alignment between front office executives is a necessity for success. It’s something I actually cited in an earlier piece about what makes Daryl Morey such a good executive. That should make us optimistic that Rosas can bring that type of attitude with him from Houston.
In the end, it’s obvious that Casson wants the new President to take an entirely different approach to the job than his predecessor did. He has preached collaboration throughout this entire process. That’s how great ideas come about. When you get a larger number of ideas from people from different backgrounds, things inevitably happen. You hear ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise come up with on your own. That, more than anything, is reason for optimism in Minneapolis.