LAS VEGAS – It was fitting, since the Timberwolves were in Las Vegas, that Gersson Rosas referred to a few of the signings moves the Timberwolves made this offseason as “taking bets” on players.
For the first time, Rosas was allowed to discuss the signings of Noah Vanleh and the pickup of Tyrone Wallace off free-agent waivers as the Wolves made those moves official earlier Monday.
When speaking about Vonleh, Rosas said: “Being able to add an individual like that, we're taking bets on guys, and he's taking a bet on us. How we're going to play and he's going to have an opportunity to impact what we do and how we do it.”
Vonleh has bounced around in his young career. The Wolves will be his fifth team in six seasons. Hence, the bet taking. Rosas said getting an opportunity to play could be beneficial for Vonleh and the Wolves.
“Any player that might be a system fit for us that we can acquire strategically, we're going to do it,” Rosas said. “He's interesting. He's a guy that's going to bring some play making to us that we need in our mix.”
Along similar lines, Wallace is also a “bet” the Wolves are taking.
“We have an opportunity to get a free look at him and that's what we're going to do,” Rosas said.
Wallace spent the last two seasons with the Clippers, averaging 5.5 points in 92 games.
They also made official the sign and trade with Portland of Jake Layman, but Layman is on a three-year deal. Layman figures to be a part of the rotation next season after playing 71 games for Portland.
“We really like his versatility, his feel, his IQ, ability to play on the ball, off the ball,” Rosas said. “To play a couple of positions offensively, defensively. We see a lot of upside with him. He’s got a tough identity that translates on both ends.”
With Layman, Rosas again reiterated that he views the Wolves’ lineup as “a point guard, wings and fives,” eschewing the role of the traditional power forward in some lineup combinations. Layman fits that mold.
The Wolves also made official the acquisitions of Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham in the sign-and-trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Golden State. The Wolves also received cash and sent the Warriors the rights to Lior Eliyahu. Eliyahu was drafted by the Magic in 2006 and the Wolves acquired his rights in a 2012 trade with Houston.