Glen Taylor reportedly hits roadblock in attempt to sell the Minnesota Timberwolves

Glen Taylor, current owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Glen Taylor, current owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Meyer Orbach, the largest minority shareholder in the Minnesota Timberwolves, has filed a court complaint against majority owner Glen Taylor regarding the process behind the pending sale to Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore.

It’s unclear how big of a roadblock that the complaint might be, but it certainly isn’t a good look for the Wolves’ outgoing owner.

Glen Taylor reportedly hits roadblock in attempt to sell the Minnesota Timberwolves

According to Wojnarowski, Orbach, who owns more than 17 percent of the franchise, has filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis alleging that Taylor did not honor the so-called “tag-along rights” in the partnership agreement.

Essentially, the rights would allow Orbach and his company the opportunity to sell their share of the team prior to Taylor closing a deal to move a majority of the stake in the team.

From Woj, on the tag-along rights:

"According to the complaint, “When Orbit (Orbach’s company) attempted to exercise its tag-along rights, Taylor not only ignored Orbit but also privately stated — contrary to his public statements — that he’s not proposing to enter into a “control sale” with Rodriguez and Lore at this time. Instead, Taylor is claiming that any “control sale” will be years in the future, and therefore Orbit currently does not have any tag-along rights.”The complaint continues: “Taylor is wrong. Although the deal with Rodriguez and Lore was structured in a clumsy attempt to circumvent Orbit’s tag along rights, it does not deprive Orbit of its tag-along rights. … The tag-along rights are triggered regardless of whether control is transferred “in a single transaction or a series of related transactions,” according to the Timberwolves partnership agreement."

Both sides appear to be alleging starkly different things — again, not a great look for Mr. Taylor.

Wojnarowski goes on to list other NBA transactions, including the recent sales of both the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets, that took place over a span of multiple years and transactions. Clearly, that’s what Taylor and the Rodriguez-Lore group were aiming for here, but Orbach is throwing a (perhaps entirely legitimate) wrench into things.

The other piece of this, however, has to do with the potential for the Timberwolves franchise to eventually relocate.

Reportedly no provision keeping the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis

Here’s what Wojnarowski has to say about the potential for the Wolves to relocate:

"Despite Taylor’s public statements to the contrary, he has included no provision in the $1.5 billion sales agreement with Lore and Rodriguez that requires the new ownership group to keep the franchise in Minnesota upon taking control of the team, according to an exhibit in the complaint.In fact, new details of Taylor’s sale agreement with Lore and Rodriguez — expected to be completed by July 1 — include a clause under “Governance Matters” that lists several actions that would require new ownership to “present to the Advisory Board for discussion” — including any plan to “relocate the team outside of the Twin Cities market.”According to an exhibit in the complaint, the agreement between Taylor and the Lore-Rodriguez group acknowledges that the “Advisory Board is advisory only … and no action … requires the approval, in any form, by the Advisory Board to be effective.”"

While it was always a bit questionable whether or not Taylor could include/enforce a clause that would tie new owners to keeping the team in Minnesota, this report flies in the face of everything that Taylor has been saying publicly.

Does that mean that Rodriguez and Lore want to move the Wolves? No. Does it mean they will move the Wolves? No. But it certainly leaves the door cracked open just a bit further.

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Stay tuned as the story develops.