Longtime NBA star Kevin Garnett expressed interest last summer in bidding on his former team, the Timberwolves, as part of a prospective ownership group, but Garnett said in an Instagram story on Thursday that he’s no longer in the running to buy the franchise.
“Sooo just got the news that this process in trying to acquire the TWOLVES IS OVER for me n my group,” Garnett wrote, adding that he plans to “focus on other places” such as Seattle and Las Vegas. “Thx Glen for being yourself n what I kno you to be!!!”
Garnett’s comments – including renewed criticism of current Wolves owner Glen Taylor, with whom KG has feuded in the past – suggested that perhaps the franchise is paring down its list of potential suitors and informed Garnett’s group that it’s no longer a candidate.
However, Taylor told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic and other reporters that neither he nor his representatives received any offer from Garnett and that he wasn’t sure what prompted KG’s public announcement.
“Kevin never contacted me at all saying that he was interested,” Taylor said. “Nor was his name listed on any of the buying groups that asked for financial information to review.”
According to Krawczysnki, Taylor was always open to considering a bid from Garnett or a group representing the Hall-of-Famer, but there was some skepticism about KG’s ability to put together the money necessary to make a competitive offer — Forbes’ latest franchise valuations projected the Wolves’ worth to be $1.4 billion.
Taylor said that he has received inquiries from at least 10 groups or families, per Krawczynski and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). The Wolves’ owner also informed Chris Hine of The Star Tribune that he spoke to four former NBA players who expressed interest in the team and asked if they were affiliated with Garnett — they all said no.
“If he would’ve called or had been a person who wanted some help, I would’ve tried to help him like anybody else,” Taylor said of Garnett.
Taylor told Wolfson that some of the interested parties are completing their due diligence, suggesting the sale process could gain momentum soon. However, Krawczynski believes “the betting money” is on Taylor retaining control of the franchise for the foreseeable future, since the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wolves’ on-court struggles, and Taylor’s insistence that the club remain in Minnesota are all factors working against a bidding war.
“The process has taken longer than anticipated just because we’re not sure when we’re going to have attendance at the games,” Taylor said, per Hine. “And so that’s a hard thing to kind of figure in there, the value or lack of value. Probably the only thing that’s holding it up. I still have interest.”
Multiple reports in the last seven months have indicated that former Grizzlies minority owner Daniel Straus has gotten furthest down the road in negotiations with Taylor. Those talks seem to have hit a standstill though, and aren’t going anywhere at the moment, sources tell Krawczynski.