Fired Wolves employee given supervised release

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An ex-Minnesota Timberwolves employee is out of jail on a supervised release after being 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 court filing Thursday that was obtained by ESPN.

Somak Sarkar, 33, was released Thursday after an initial court hearing in Minnesota. As part of the conditions of his release, Sarkar can’t contact the Timberwolves executive, Sachin Gupta, whom he allegedly stole information from, either directly or indirectly, including through social media.

Sarkar must also avoid any property owned, operated or managed by the Timberwolves, and he cannot leave the state of Minnesota.

His next court date is scheduled for May 16.

According to a criminal complaint, also obtained by ESPN, Sarkar was fired from the team in February after taking a hard drive from the Target Center office of Gupta, a Timberwolves executive vice president who oversees the team’s analytics department.

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

Another employee was able to recover the hard drive from Sarkar, and the team determined, after a computer forensic analysis, that Sarkar 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.

“There’s more to the story here,” Sarkar’s attorney, Ryan M. Pacyga, told ESPN on Thursday. “I’m not ready to put that out there yet, but we’re gathering more information and more will come out soon when it’s the appropriate time.”

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.

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.

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