Wolves Notes: Franchise Valuation, Rose, Saunders

The Timberwolves only ranked 27th in Forbes’ most recent list of NBA franchise valuations, but like the 29 other teams in the league, Minnesota has a perceived value of at least $1 billion, coming in at $1.06 billion. For Wolves owner Glen Taylor, who bought the team for $88.5MM back in 1994, that’s a staggering figure.

“It never occurred to me that anything like this would happen,” Taylor told Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune. “But it has been, especially in the last few years, partly due to the big contract we got on TV, but just everything — the advertisements, sponsorships have gone up, attendance has gone up every year, and therefore the value has gone up.”

While Taylor was reportedly seeking a successor at one point to take over control of the franchise, a deal with Steve Kaplan fell through, and the Timberwolves’ majority owner has since re-committed to his investment in the team. Taylor, who is 76 years old, won’t control the Wolves forever, but it doesn’t seem as if he has any desire to sell anytime soon — particularly with the club in position to claim a playoff spot for the first time since 2004.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • While the Timberwolves have been linked to Derrick Rose since he was traded from Cleveland to Utah – and subsequently waived – Taylor says his club hasn’t had any plans to sign the former MVP, according to Hartman. “If we could find the right person to fit into our team and have some ability to play, get out there on the floor, we are certainly going to look at it,” Taylor said. “We kept one slot open all year long just in case that possibility occurred. But as of today we don’t have anybody in mind.”
  • Earlier today, we passed along word from Taylor – via Hartman – that the Timberwolves are willing to accommodate a Shabazz Muhammad buyout.
  • The late Flip Saunders, who served as the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, was honored by the franchise with a banner on Thursday night, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic took an in-depth look at the Wolves’ decision to honor Saunders, and what he meant to the organization.
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