Western Rumors: Wolves, Pau, Spurs, Parsons

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has finalized the sale of shares of the franchise, bringing in two minority stake-holders, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. According to Windhorst, Taylor closed separate deals with Shanghai-based businessman Lizhang Jiang and New York-based real estate magnate Meyer Orbach. Per Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter links), Jiang – the NBA’s first Chinese minority owner – purchased about 5% of the Wolves, while Orbach took on about 9.5%. News of these sale agreements first surfaced in April.

Taylor had previously been in talks to sell 30% of the Timberwolves to Grizzlies minority-share owner Steve Kaplan, and they were reportedly discussing a plan to have Kaplan eventually succeed Taylor as the Wolves’ primary owner. Windhorst suggests that deal has fallen apart, though Krawczynski tweets that there’s “still some optimism” that the two sides could eventually work something out.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Appearing on Chris Mannix’s podcast for The Vertical, Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that the Spurs are high on Pau Gasol, and could make him a priority in free agency this weekend (hat tip to Sportando). Pau’s brother Marc Gasol has previously advised his brother to sign with San Antonio.
  • Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons conducted a Q&A with his followers on Twitter, and predictably, with just a few days to go until the recruiting period begins, there were several questions related to his free agency. As Adam Grosbard of The Dallas Morning News outlines, Parsons remained adamant that he’s worthy of a max contract. When asked why he feels he deserves such a deal, the veteran forward replied, “Cuz I’m really good at basketball.”
  • In an in-depth piece, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News runs through the Mavericks‘ blueprint for free agency, which includes Plan A, Plan B, and Plan CP (the team’s alternatives at small forward should Parsons sign elsewhere).
  • Although the Jazz front office likes the team’s core, Utah intends to fortify its roster via free agency or trades this summer, writes Jody Genessy of The Deseret News. While the acquisition of George Hill was a start, GM Dennis Lindsey has more in mind, and has described the club’s approach to the coming offseason as “active” and “aggressive,” as Genessy details.
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