Kevin Garnett is in rarefied air as one of just four players ever to have a 20-year NBA playing career, but he’d also like to join an even more exclusive club of players who’ve taken control of NBA franchises. Garnett told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that he wants to buy the Timberwolves, whom current owner Glen Taylor has said he’d eventually like to sell. It’s the first public admission of the desire from the 38-year-old, though the idea has been the subject of chatter around Minnesota for a while, notes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).
“I want to buy the Timberwolves. Put a group together and perhaps some day try to buy the team. That’s what I want,” Garnett said.
Garnett, 38, would have to retire as a player first, and he said before this season that he won’t rule out continuing his career into 2015/16. His contract with the Nets expires at season’s end, but he wouldn’t comment when Spears asked whether he’d like to play for the Wolves or for former coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers next season. Still, Garnett said to Spears that the Wolves are his target for ownership based on his ties to the franchise, for which he played his first 12 NBA seasons, and the presence of Flip Saunders, who is the team’s coach and president of basketball operations and also holds a minority ownership share.
NBA salaries have given Garnett more than $315MM over the course of his career, according to Basketball-Reference, though that doesn’t include the $12MM coming his way this season or any income he’s earned through endorsements. Forbes.com affixed a $430MM valutation to the franchise this spring, and that number has no doubt escalated after the $550MM sale of the Bucks and Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Clippers. Still, Garnett acknowledged that he would team with other investors, though it’s unknown whether he’d be willing to take a back seat to another partner who’d want to become the controlling owner.
Taylor has said he’s looking for someone to purchase a minority stake in the team who could eventually take over the majority interest from him, though he’s been resolute that any new owner commit to keeping the team in Minnesota, as Spears notes.