Timberwolves Executive vice president Sachin Gupta and coach Chris Finch aren't strangers.
Both go back to their time in Houston helping run the G-League team at Rio Grande Valley earlier last decade and, according to Finch, "always stayed in touch."
"I feel like he's extremely ready and one of the most bright, strategic minds in the game," Finch said. "I'm excited for his opportunity and our opportunity to work together. We think very similarly and I love his approach."
Gupta, who also has worked in Detroit and Philadelphia, said the past week after the firing of former President Gersson Rosas was "a little bit crazy" but was thankful for the chance to be in charge of an NBA team, even if it winds up not being on a permanent basis.
"It's been a lot of time, but it's been a lot of fun as well," Gupta said. "As far as expectations, nothing changes. We feel really good about the talent on this roster and we're excited."
Gupta referred to Finch as a "perfect partner" with whom to work.
Among Gupta's first orders of business is handling trade talks with the 76ers, who are dealing with Ben Simmons' holdout and are run by Gupta's former boss in Houston, Daryl Morey. Gupta maintains good relationships with Morey and others in Philadelphia from his time working there and in Houston.
As for the roster in front of him, Gupta said nothing has changed regarding his expectations for the season.
"We have really good people in this building, and that hasn't changed," Gupta said. "It's about players, and from their perspective we have the same goals for the season and we have the same support around them. So I think everyone is ready to move on and excited for the season."
Finch, meanwhile, isn't new to sudden change. He took over as coach midseason last year after coming over from being the associate head coach in Toronto. Finch declined to comment on Rosas' firing.
"Again, the great thing about this league is it's always changing, all the time, and it happens fast," Finch said. "We have to be able to react fast and adapt and go out and perform."
Wolves almost fully vaccinated
Gupta said the Wolves have two players who are in the process of getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Once they are, the entire Wolves team and staff will be fully vaccinated and will not have any players who might face complications playing road games in cities that might require players be fully vaccinated to play.
"We're on a good path here," Gupta said. "We have two players who are in the process and have gotten the vaccine. They have a number of days left before they'll be fully vaccinated but after that, we'll be fully vaccinated as a team, as a staff, and we're really excited about that."
That's significant to center Karl-Anthony Towns, who lost his mother and other family members to the virus, and who has been outspoken on social media about people's reasons for not getting vaccinated.
"I'm very appreciative of those two players coming forward and obviously knowing that everything is a choice. I'm never going to take away anyone's choice," Towns said. "… You have a choice to not get the vaccine and that's all you. I'm all fine with that. Everyone has their own beliefs, their own mind-set toward it. I have no problem with that. But don't make an excuse that doesn't make sense. Don't do that. … That's the only thing I ask."
Signs of growth
Earlier this month, Finch told the Star Tribune that Anthony Edwards had grown about two inches from 6-4 to 6-6. He wasn't the only one who gained a few inches. Jaden McDaniels said he is approaching 6-10.
"The hair adds a bit," McDaniels said.
Finch said Edwards joked with him that he might soon be entering Michael Jordan territory since Jordan is 6-6. Edwards played that off Monday.
"It don't really matter how tall I get," Edwards said. "Like, at the end of the day, I'm going to be me and be a killer. I still stand on that."