Gersson Rosas has been hovering in the Knicks’ power structure for some time, but now he has finally been promoted.
Gersson Rosas has had a voice within the New York Knicks organization well before he was formerly named Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations this week.
Rosas arrived in New York last February as a consultant and has reportedly run point on several negotiations that took place since then. That could include things from the Jalen Brunson contract, the Donovan Mitchell saga, and the Josh Hart trade, all negotiations in which the Knicks ended up making the right decision. How impactful Rosas’ role was in these talks remains unknown.
Leon Rose has really become the real-life version of Paul Cicero. No one hears him speak, and any news that leaks is usually non-consequential. The best chances of betting on one of his moves would be to read this post or consult an oracle. The one thing the public has come to know is that Rose trusts his lieutenants, and Rosas has officially become one of the highest-ranking. With his promotion, Rosas is third on the totem pole of decision-making, answering only to Rose and William Wesley.
The move could be a good one, especially if Rosas was indeed a voice of reason in trade talks with known finesse artist Danny Ainge. Prior to arriving in New York, Rosas learned under a finesse merchant even better than Ainge, Daryl Morey, in Houston. He was already in the Houston Rockets’ front office by the time Morey was brought in but became a close confidant once Morey was promoted to the general manager position.
Rosas got a firsthand look at Morey’s reconstruction that was jumpstarted by robbing the Oklahoma City Thunder of James Harden, opening the Rockets’ title window, and rolling out a transformational offense no team has been able to replicate. During the 16 years he spent in Houston, the Rockets made the playoffs 12 times, including two conference finals appearances in 2015 and 2018.
Rosas reportedly played significant roles in developing the team’s transformational philosophy and roster, including the successful pursuits of Harden and, later, Chris Paul, along with smart signings to complement Harden like P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon – as well as signings that did not pan out as well, like Dwight Howard.
Right as the Rockets hit their stride, Rosas briefly left the team for the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first Latino general manager in league history. He left after three months after clashing with management and returned to Houston as the Rockets would remain a force in the West through his final departure in 2019.
Minnesota was Rosas’ next stop, ironically enough, where he replaced Tom Thibodeau as team president. Unlike Houston, Minnesota did not become the new fad of the league. Rosas did oversee the selection of Anthony Edwards in 2020, just about the only thing worth caring about in regard to the Timberwolves, and hired old colleague Chris Finch, who helped the Wolves double their win total in 2020-21. Rosas was then dismissed amid controversy over a “consensual intimate relationship” with a colleague.
The cherry on top for Rose is that Rosas has CAA ties, sharing the same agent as Thibodeau.
Now, Rosas takes a prominent role as the Knicks plan to make their big jump. It has become borderline universal belief among those in the know that the Knicks plan to make that star move in the summer of 2024. Right now, Joel Embiid is the name that feels most believable, now that it seems the Giannis Antetokunmpo to NYC chatter was simply leveraging the Bucks to pull the trigger on a Damian Lillard trade.
Whoever the name is, big or small, Rosas will have his hands on it given the role he has played as a consultant. Now, with a high-ranking title, he can start to leave his imprint on the Knicks.
Given his resume and past history, there are more good results than bad ones, which is a good sign as the Knicks look to open that title window up for the first time in ten years.