Ronzone out as Timberwolves assistant GM
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- September 2, 2011 - 2:17 PM
Timberwolves assistant general manager Tony Ronzone has left the organization.
Known for his international-scouting connections, he was hired in spring 2010 just about the time Fred Hoiberg was headed for Iowa State's head-coaching job and had a voice in personnel moves that included drafting Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams as well as trading away Al Jefferson, acquiring Michael Beasley and re-signing center Darko Milicic.
The Wolves, through a spokesman, said they and Ronzone mutually have agreed to part ways and wished him good luck.
Ronzone coordinated workouts and was the franchise's public face in preparations for the June draft.
He and Wolves scout Pete Philo gave the team vast international connections and their influence was seen in its second-round selections of the last two drafts:
In 2010, the Wolves traded down with the 23rd pick to get extra picks and selected Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica and Brazilian big man Paulao Prestes in the second round.
In June, the team made trade after trade on draft night, dealing picks for cash and then striking a deal with Portland to acquire a little-known prospect playing in Qatar named Tanguy Ngombo with the 57th pick overall.
Ngombo's birthdate information for the draft said he was born in 1989, but FIBA records for a 2005 tournament listed his birth year as 1984, which made him 26 on draft night and ineligible to be selected. The Wolves will retain his draft rights, but there's a big difference in a 6-6 wing player's upside if he's 26 rather than 21, although I don't believe the matter had anything to do with his departure.
Ronzone previously was an international scout and/or front-office executive with Dallas and Detroit.
He was with the Mavericks when they made a draft-night deal to acquire some guy named Dirk Nowitzki out of Germany in 1998 and he was influential in the Pistons selecting Milicic second overall in 2003.
No word yet on how -- or if -- the Wolves will replace Ronzone.
One more thing, completely separate from his departure: If the Wolves do hire Rick Adelman, league insiders wouldn't be surprised if the team hires someone with whom Adelman has a relationship -- Terry Porter, who played for Adelman in Portland and has interviewed for this head-coaching job, perhaps? -- to be his voice in player-personnel scouting and decisions.
One thing doesn't have anything to do with another -- Ronzone isn't gone to clear room for a new hire -- but it'll be interesting to watch.
© 2014 Star Tribune