Houston Rockets executive vice president Gersson Rosas has “emerged as an increasingly serious candidate” in the Charlotte Hornets general manger search, according to Marc Stein of the The New York Times:
Houston Rockets executive Gersson Rosas has emerged as an increasingly serious candidate in the Charlotte Hornets' GM search alongside the widely perceived frontrunner Mitch Kupchak, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 19, 2018
Stein reports that Mitch Kupchak remains the “perceived frontrunner” for the job, though when asked by the Charlotte Observer whether he’s had conversations with the Hornets, Kupchak denied any contact, stating, “Nope. Nope. Nothing. Nothing at all.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s denying it (as he smartly should). Regardless of whether Kupchak is a serious candidate, there’s now another name to place next to his.
So who is Rosas? As discussed when his name first appeared in the conversation, Rosas is a long time employee of the Houston Rockets. He’s been with the Rockets for 17 seasons, and has worked his away up the front office chain to his current role as executive vice president. He also briefly served as GM for the Dallas Mavericks in 2013 before returning to the Rockets.
Excluding Kupchak, Rosas is the only candidate mentioned so far with previous NBA GM experience. But what could be most appealing about him is his long-term association with the Rockets, a team that has built itself into a legitimate contender (and the current best team in the Western Conference) through smart drafting and free agent signings that all play into a particular style of play. The Rockets have adopted the 3-point line, and shoot a ton of them. Every player on their roster, whether they shoot 3’s or not, fits into Houston’s system, and this season they could seriously challenge the defending champs Golden State Warriors.
A lot of Houston’s success is due to current general manager Daryl Morey, but any well run front office is more than it’s GM. If Rosas is of the same mind as Morey (and the two have to be on the same page on a few things having worked together since 2006), then I’d imagine Rosas could take a similar approach as GM. But all that’s speculation, and until or unless the Hornets decide he is their next GM, we won’t know what his specific plans are.
The Hornets hope to have their new GM by April, so we should know whether Rosas is the man soon enough.