Worry not, Minnesota Fans, the Timberwolves are staying in town.
With the news that former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez and ex-Walmart e-commerce boss Marc Lore have entered into an exclusive 30-day negotiating window to finalize a deal to purchase the Timberwolves, Minnesota fans couldn’t help but fear the worst.
This isn’t the first time that their team has been sold. Fortunately for them, the first time it was up for sale, it was former Mankato senator Glen Taylor who bought the franchise and kept it in Minnesota. But with cities like Las Vegas and Seattle dying to have their own NBA team, anything could happen.
However, Taylor is keen on keeping the team in Minnesota, even after he transfers ownership to the prospective buyers.
Said T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor:
“They will keep the team here, yes. We will put it in the agreement,” Taylor said. “At this point, we have a letter of intent, but when we make up the contract we’ll put that in there. That’s no problem. That won’t be a problem.”
30-Day Exclusive Negotiating Window
The Wolves could have new owners after a month. With the prospective buyer led by A-Rod having an exclusive 30-day negotiating window, this is as serious as any sale talk has been since Taylor said in July last year that he was putting up the T-Wolves for sale. Taylor negotiated with Ryan Smith last year, but they couldn’t reach a deal and Smith ended up buying the Utah Jazz instead.
Alex Rodriguez and businessman Marc Lore have signed a letter of intent to negotiate with Glen Taylor to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves, @JeffZillgitt reports. https://t.co/NErrZgrPIp
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) April 11, 2021
A-Rod and billionaire partner Lore are serious about buying a sports franchise. It can be recalled that they also led the group that made a bid for the New York Nets. They were outbid reportedly by a mere $50M by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen. A-Rod didn’t take that loss easily. He isn’t going to let this new opportunity pass him by again.
Under the agreement, Taylor would remain in control of the Timberwolves, and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx which is included in the sale, for two years before handing over the baton to A-Rod and Lore. According to sources, the purchase price is in the$1.5B range.
Saving Minnesota Basketball
Taylor saved Minnesota basketball at a time when it needed him most. In 1994, the Wolves were threatening to leave Minnesota because of financial problems. Taylor bought it for $88M and kept it from leaving town. However, keeping the team in Minnesota was one thing, turning it into a championship team was another.
.@FSNTomHanneman: “Probably the greatest save in Minnesota sports history.”
Glen Taylor recalls buying the @Timberwolves franchise in 1994. For more: https://t.co/8j79Ulfrek pic.twitter.com/QR7S4NDjoh
— Bally Sports North (@BallySportsNOR) October 31, 2018
The Timberwolves had their glory days with Kevin Garnett. They made eight consecutive appearances in the playoffs including a run to the 2004 Western Conference Finals during Garnett’s MVP season. But it has been dry and barren since then with Minnesota making the playoffs only once in the last 16 seasons.
There were modest expectations this season after the Wolves drafted Anthony Edwards with the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. With Minnesota trading for D’Angelo Russell last season, the trio of Edwards, Russell, and Karl Anthony Towns was expected to put them in playoff contention. But injuries have prevented that and the Wolves currently have the NBA’s worst record at 13-40.
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