The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to change owners for the first time in 27 years.
According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, current owner Glen Taylor has entered into an exclusive negotiating window (subscription required) with a group led by billionaire Marc Lore and former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez. Not only that, a purchase price and other “major elements’ of a transaction have already been agreed to by the two parties.
Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly sold to group including Alex Rodriguez
The report first came from Krawczynski and was seconded moments later by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Shams Charania, also of The Athletic, chimed in with some additional information regarding the handoff, as well as a statement from the Rodriguez-Lore group.
In Krawczynksi’s article, he notes that the purchase price agreed upon is around $1.5 million, which is a bit higher than the $1.2 to $1.4 billion numbers thrown around over the past few months.
While the star appeal of an owner such as A-Rod might be attractive, immediate questions surfaced regarding Rodriguez’s ties to Seattle, where he started his MLB career with the Mariners. Since the SuperSonics left the Pacific Northwest to become the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2007, rumors have persisted regarding existing NBA teams potentially relocating to Seattle.
But Krawczynski and Charania immediately refuted those murmers.
Of course, once the sale is complete and Taylor is eased out of the picture by 2023, it’s unclear if there would be any legal mean to keep the franchise tethered to Minnesota. The Target Center buyout has reported to be only $50 million, which is perhaps only slightly more than a drop in the bucket for a billionaire-led ownership group.
Still, Taylor has talked constantly to anyone who will listen that he will only sell the team to a group who is committed to the Twin Cities. According to the above-linked report at The Athletic, Glen and Becky Taylor have already met face-to-face with Rodriguez and Lore, and the current Wolves owners are clearly satisfied enough with what they’ve heard to enter into an exclusive negotiating window.
The groups now have 30 days to discuss terms, so it appears likely that the next steps could come quickly. Stay tuned as the story develops.