The Minnesota Timberwolves fired the president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, on Sept. 22, less than a week before training camp, in yet another change in leadership for this long-languishing franchise. Indian American executive vice president Sachin Gupta was temporarily elevated to guide the basketball operations, owner Glen Taylor confirmed in a separate announcement made about 2 1/2 hours later, according to an AP report.
Taylor announced that the Timberwolves “parted ways” with Rosas in a two-sentence statement that revealed no direct explanation for the dismissal after just two seasons.
Gupta was hired by Rosas after stints in the front office with the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets. With degrees from MIT and Stanford, Gupta is an analytics ace who began his career at ESPN, where he developed the popular website feature known as the “NBA Trade Machine,” which calculates the salary cap ramifications of any potential deal that a fan wants to plug in.
The promotion of Gupta is historic, making him the first Indian American to run an NBA basketball organization, according to a report on nba.com.
Gupta began his career as a special advisor to general manager Daryl Morey with the Rockets from 2006 to 2013. In 2013, he took the role of vice president of basketball operations with the Philadelphia 76ers under Sam Hinkie. Five years later, in 2018-19, he joined the Detroit Pistons as an assistant general manager, before joining the Timberwolves for the 2019-20 season.
NBA.com reports that Gupta, born to parents Ram and Meetu Gupta, grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from MIT with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering, which earned him a job as a software engineer at ESPN, where he first made a name for himself. He later earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
While giving credit for the idea to ESPN.com NBA editor Chris Ramsay, Gupta was the man behind the code that runs ESPN's Trade Machine, the report noted. The simulator, which includes instant analysis from writer John Hollinger, has grown in popularity among NBA fans over the years as a go-to tool to see if their fantasy trades were valid as per the NBA's CBA rules.