Ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise is still in limbo as the 30-day exclusive negotiating window with the potential new owners nears completion.
The Minnesota Timberwolves still don’t officially have a new owner.
We’re within days of when reports surfaced that former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and tech billionaire Marc Lore were on the brink of acquiring the Wolves.
That means that we’re also within a day or two of the exclusive negotiating window closing, and potentially, closing without a deal in place.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Thirty-day negotiating window closing
While we don’t know exactly when the agreement was signed, reports regarding the new group’s pending takeover surfaced on April 10.
Remember, the language at the time was that current owner Glen Taylor and the Rodriguez-Lore group “are finalizing a deal” (ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski) and that they were “nearing minority stakes” (The Athletic’s Shams Charania).
Things seemed fairly close to being buttoned up. Outside of Anthony Edwards’ lack of knowledge regarding whom, exactly, Rodriguez is, it’s been entirely silent on the ownership front since the news initially broke.
SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson spoke to the situation on the Mackey & Judd Show this week and gave his thoughts as to what the delay might be at this stage in the process.
If the hold up is truly related to the details of the length that Taylor would remain majority owner, it certainly seems a though it’s something that should be resolved.
As noted, a transaction of this magnitude — reportedly in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion — understandably takes a great deal of time. Hence, the 30-day negotiating window. And remember, the conversation between the two groups apparently didn’t start until shortly before the news became public.
If we get to the middle of the next week and no announcement has been made, it could certainly be time to get concerned about the viability of a Rodriguez-Lore ownership group. But we’re not quite there yet.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Arron Afflalo’s interest in buying the Wolves
We first found out about former NBA player Arron Afflalo’s interest in purchasing the Wolves back in late July, shortly after Taylor made public his desire to explore selling the team.
By September, Afflalo had emerged as a leading candidate to potentially make the acquisition.
Then, former Memphis Grizzlies minority owner Daniel E. Straus entered into a 30-day negotiating window to purchase the Timberwolves. That potential transaction ultimately fell through, but Afflalo’s name hasn’t come up since.
Afflalo recently gave an interview to The Athletic’s David Aldridge (subscription required) in which he spoke to the multiple meetings that Afflalo had with Taylor, and how much the latter learned from the 80-year-old businessman throughout the process.
Afflalo also noted that his close relationship with then-head coach Ryan Saunders was a big reason for his interest in owning the team; Afflalo played for Flip Saunders as a member of the Detroit Pistons. Additionally, Afflalo felt as though his background could be an asset to the Twin Cities community in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy from last spring and the ensuing weeks and months of healing that is still ongoing.
The article is a fantastic read, so be sure to check it out if you have a subscription. Here’s hoping that Afflalo realizes his dream and has an opportunity to become an NBA owner at some point, whether that’s in Minnesota or elsewhere.