Wolves analyst charged with stealing info, fired

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A Minnesota Timberwolves employee was fired, arrested and charged with felony third-degree burglary for allegedly stealing thousands of internal files, including “strategic NBA information,” from a team executive, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday and obtained by ESPN.

Somak Sarkar, 33, who previously served as a coaching analyst for the Timberwolves, is in custody and faces a court hearing Thursday afternoon in Minnesota. An attorney wasn’t listed for him as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Timberwolves told ESPN that they were aware of the allegations and had no further comment at this time. A source told ESPN that the team would not pursue criminal charges.

On Feb. 2, the complaint says, Sachin Gupta, a Timberwolves executive vice president who oversees the team’s analytics department, left a hard drive connected to a laptop in his office at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

That drive contained Gupta’s personal financial information as well as private information for the team, including employment and player contracts.

When Gupta returned to work on Feb. 5, the hard drive was missing, and subsequent surveillance reviewed by security revealed that Sarkar had twice entered Gupta’s office on Feb. 3 “after looking to see if anyone could see him,” the complaint says. “He then left.”

Sarkar was fired immediately, the complaint says.

Another employee was able to recover the hard drive from Sarkar, and the team determined, after a forensic analysis, that he had accessed more than 5,000 files and downloaded them onto another device.

Sarkar was arrested Monday, and police executed a search warrant at his home, where they found several hard drives, a computer and three tablets. A second warrant revealed that one of the devices contained information from Gupta’s hard drive.

When questioned by police, Sarkar said that, as a member of the coaching staff, he had the hard drive “to put some stuff on it,” but he forgot to return it.

The complaint noted Sarkar had been transferred out of Gupta’s department in August 2023 and to the coaching staff because of poor job performance.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Sarkar joined the Timberwolves in August 2021 and previously worked in analytics-related roles at the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Pelicans. He also worked as a basketball operations intern for the Houston Rockets from October 2012 to June 2013.

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