Glen Taylor

Western Notes: G. Taylor, Curry, Mavs, Kings

A group of animal welfare activists – members of the organization Direct Action Everywhere who have conducted a series of protests at Timberwolves games in recent weeks – want Glen Taylor to step down from his role as the Wolves’ team owner, writes Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.

As Arnovitz details, Taylor is the owner of Rembrandt Farms, a large-scale factory farm that recently killed more than five million birds using a method known as “ventilation shutdown plus” that activists view as inhumane. That method was employed in an effort to combat an outbreak of bird influenza.

Taylor has agreed to eventually hand over the reins of the Timberwolves to incoming owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore. However, Arnovitz says the activists want to expedite the succession process, which currently doesn’t call for Rodriguez and Lore to assume full control until at least a year from now.

According to Arnovitz, Direction Action Everywhere is also demanding that Taylor contribute $11.3MM to public health and animal welfare organizations. That amount is equivalent to the $11.3MM that Rembrandt Farms received in federal funds in 2015 to combat another influenza outbreak, per ESPN.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Warriors star Stephen Curry will no longer face a minutes restriction in Game 5 vs. Denver on Wednesday, head coach Steve Kerr said today (Twitter link via Kendra Andrews of ESPN). There has been speculation that Curry will reenter the starting lineup on Thursday, but Kerr didn’t confirm or deny that.
  • On the verge of winning a playoff series for the first time in his career, Mavericks guard Luka Doncic praised his teammates, including Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock, who rushed to confront Jazz center Hassan Whiteside following a hard foul on Doncic on Monday. “They had my back,” Doncic said, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “Both of them, anybody, we had each other’s back. That’s what great teams do. I would go with these guys to war. This is a special team.”
  • In his offseason preview for the Kings, ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) explores the resources Sacramento has available to upgrade its roster, concluding that the draft and trade market are the team’s best bets. In Harrison Barnes, Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless, and Alex Len, the Kings have about $35MM in expiring contracts, Marks observes.

Wolves Notes: Cauley-Stein, Edwards, Beverley, Ownership

In an appearance on Darren Wolfson’s The Scoop podcast at SKOR North, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that Minnesota is considering adding a free agent who could help improve the team’s rebounding numbers.

Asked specifically if the Wolves could bring back veteran center Greg Monroe, who was on a 10-day deal with the club earlier this season, Taylor responded, “We’re looking at a number of possibilities.”

According to Wolfson, one possible target the Wolves have discussed internally is Willie Cauley-Stein, who recently spent time in Philadelphia on a 10-day deal. Cody Zeller, who was waived last month while recovering from a procedure on his knee, isn’t currently considered an option, Wolfson adds.

Here’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Anthony Edwards has missed the Timberwolves’ last four games due to knee soreness, but Taylor is confident the injury is not a major issue. “We’re dealing with some swelling and some pain,” Taylor told Wolfson. “We just want to buy a little time, but it’s nothing major or anything that will keep him from being out there soon.”
  • Taylor doesn’t anticipate a significant offseason roster shakeup in Minnesota. “Most players are already signed for next year, so there won’t be major changes,” he told Wolfson.
  • One player who had been on track for unrestricted free agency this summer was guard Patrick Beverley, but he signed a one-year, $13MM extension with the Wolves in February. Taylor said that was a fairly straightforward negotiation, since both sides had interest in continuing the relationship, and that the main issue was deciding on the length of the contract. Beverley “preferred to add something longer,” according to Taylor, who said the team wanted to maintain some flexibility beyond 2022/23.
  • Asked by Wolfson if the plan is still for Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore to assume majority control of the Timberwolves in December 2023, Taylor replied, “Probably.” Pressed on whether it could happen sooner than next December or later than that, Taylor said that both scenarios are possible, indicating that nothing is set in stone yet.

Details On Timberwolves’ Dismissal Of Gersson Rosas

The Timberwolves‘ dismissal of president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas was made for “performance reasons,” a high-ranking team source told Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic. The team’s lack of success during Rosas’ tenure was a key factor in the decision, and complaints from staffers about Rosas’ leadership also played a part, per The Athletic’s duo.

However, another issue that factored into the timing of the move was the fact that the Wolves recently learned that Rosas – who is married – had a “consensual intimate relationship” with a member of the organization, according to Krawczysnki and Charania, who suggest that the relationship made several people within the franchise uncomfortable.

The Athletic’s deep dive into the situation in Minnesota’s front office uncovered sources who said Rosas worked his staffers long hours without giving them much input into personnel decisions. Some members of the front office took issue with those decisions, such as the one to include such light protections (top-three) on the first-round pick the Wolves sent Golden State in the D’Angelo Russell trade.

Rosas did have backers within the organization, including some who reached out to The Athletic in recent weeks to defend the way things were going, per Krawczynski and Charania. Some of Rosas’ defenders believe the pandemic and the change of ownership were factors that contributed to tension in the front office, while Rosas himself “vehemently disputed” that there were any significant problems with the team’s culture.

Still, many of The Athletic’s sources described Rosas’ tenure as dysfunctional, and when those complaints reached ownership, Glen Taylor, Alex Rodriguez, and Marc Lore decided the situation was untenable and a move needed to be made sooner rather than later.

“It’s hard,” said one staffer who followed Rosas to Minnesota after he was hired in 2019. “He’s not who I thought he was.”

The report from Krawczynski and Charania is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber. Here are some of the other highlights:

  • New interim head of basketball operations Sachin Gupta is well-regarded by team officials and is expected to get a chance to earn the permanent job, sources tell The Athletic. However, Krawczynski and Charania note that Gupta did “butt heads” with Rosas this summer when Gupta sought to make a lateral move to the Rockets for a similar job with higher pay, and Rosas blocked him. Rosas defended the decision by saying that the move wouldn’t have been a promotion, and it was too close to the draft and free agency to let a top executive with so much knowledge of Minnesota’s plans leave to join a rival. According to The Athletic, Rosas “banished” Gupta from the team’s offices in August and allowed him to seek employment elsewhere at that point, but Gupta decided to stay with the Wolves after ownership got involved.
  • Some player agents had issues with Rosas’ negotiating tactics, according to Krawczynski and Charania, who point to the team’s recent contract talks with Jordan McLaughlin as one example. A source tells The Athletic that Rosas reneged on promises about the role McLaughlin would have going forward after Patrick Beverley was acquired. Although agents recognized Rosas’ primary allegiance was to the organization, they expected better treatment in certain scenarios, according to The Athletic’s duo. “Rosas was the cause of mishaps and pulled his promises,” the source said of the McLaughlin negotiations.
  • Rosas’ decision to replace head coach Ryan Saunders with Chris Finch during the season without considering any other candidates – including minority candidates – wasn’t popular with some staffers, and neither was the decision to part with veteran scout Zarko Durisic last year, per Krawczysnki and Charania. Some people believed those moves flew in the face of Rosas’ portrayal of the organization as a “family.”
  • Krawczynski and Charania say Rosas was “working feverishly” this offseason to try to acquire Ben Simmons, who was viewed by some people in the organization as the roster’s missing piece. It’s unclear if Gupta will have the same level of interest in the Sixers star.
  • A report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report confirms and adds some details to many of the issues reported by The Athletic, including the recent discovery of Rosas’ “consensual extramarital affair” with a team staffer.

Wolves Notes: Beverley Trade, Free Agency, Beasley

In his latest piece for The Athletic, Jon Krawczynski writes that for the Timberwolves, trading Juan Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver was not just about adding a veteran defender and shooter in Patrick Beverley, but also about dealing two players who were looking for a change of scenery to get their careers back on track.

According to Krawczynski, Culver grew disenfranchised with the Wolves as he fell further and further out of the rotation in 2020/21, which caused him at times to seem to lose all confidence in himself. Hernangomez wanted out from the team that barred his participation in the Olympics due to a shoulder injury that Spanish doctors had cleared him from, and even went so far as to reach out to team owner Glen Taylor to attempt to circumvent the decision of president Gersson Rosas.

Krawczynski adds that Rosas has a relationship with Beverley going back to his time in with the Rockets, the team that originally brought the defensive-minded point guard over from Europe and got his NBA career on track.

We have more Timberwolves news:

  • Krawczysnki suggests that adding a little extra money in the Beverley deal will further complicate the Wolves’ efforts to sign restricted free agents Jarred Vanderbilt and Jordan McLaughlin to multiyear deals. He expects Vanderbilt to receive a multiyear contract, while the team uses te minimum salary exception to add another point guard, either McLaughlin or someone else.
  • Trading Culver is a concession by Rosas that the first draft pick of his tenure, a pick he traded Dario Saric and the 11th pick to acquire, was a failure, writes Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. The idea, Rand writes, was for Culver to provide a similar skill-set Beverley will now be counted on for: to play hard-nosed defense and knock down threes. Rand adds that, on his expiring salary, Beverley could be a good trade chip if the team is underperforming at the trade deadline.
  • Darren Wolfson of SKOR North tweets that he’s been told Beverley is “very happy” with the trade to the Wolves. Beverley, no stranger to fighting for his place in the league, has had a tumultuous couple days, and while no longer on a championship contender, he has a chance to play a vital role for an up-and-coming team.
  • Malik Beasley has been released from jail after serving 78 days for pleading guilty to threats of violence, writes Jeff Day of The Star Tribune. Beasley was sentenced to 120 days, and was released after 78 for good behavior. If he completes his three years of probation, the charge will be dropped from felony to misdemeanor.

Northwest Notes: Conley, Jazz, Collison, Thunder, Wolves

Now that Mike Conley‘s contract situation is worked out, he’s focused on helping the Jazz win a championship, writes John Coon of The Associated Press. Conley received interest from multiple teams before agreeing to a three-year, $68MM contract to stay in Utah.

“Last year had a disappointing end to it,” he said. “But all the strides we’ve made along the way allow us to come into this season still chasing that championship — that ultimate goal. And it’s something that’s truly attainable. Something we can grasp. We’re right there. We’re knocking on the door.”

Conley also addressed the hamstring issue that caused him to miss five of the six games in the second-round series with the Clippers, saying he’s making progress toward a full recovery.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Jazz haven’t historically been a popular destination for free agents, but that may be changing after the team’s success last season, per Sarah Todd of The Deseret News. In addition to keeping Conley, Utah was able to sign veteran free agents Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside. “A lot of really, really good teams were coming after me and wanted me to be there but I think this team was the team that had the most need for what I can do,” Gay said in his introductory press conference. “The culture, the ownership group is great, coach Quin (Snyder) is great. They really sold me on it.”
  • The Thunder announced in a press release on Tuesday that Nick Collison has been hired to the team’s front office, having been named a special assistant to general manager Sam Presti. According to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link), Eric Maynor is also moving from the OKC Blue staff to the Thunder as a player development coach, while Anthony Morrow has been hired as a lifestyle services and engagement associate.
  • The $27.5MM+ trade exception the Thunder created in last fall’s Steven Adams trade has now expired. As Bobby Marks of ESPN (Instagram video) observes, it’s not a big loss for Oklahoma City, since the team can still create up to $32MM in cap room by renouncing the rest of its exceptions if it so chooses.
  • Incoming Timberwolves owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore continue to do the media rounds, speaking to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic about how their partnership with Glen Taylor will work for the next couple years, and talking to Shams Charania of Stadium (video link) about their commitment to Minnesota.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Nuggets, Martin Sr., Timberwolves

The Jazz’s free agent moves were designed to make them a more complete playoff team, Tony Jones of The Athletic writes. Signing Rudy Gay in free agency and trading for Eric Paschall will allow Utah to match up better against small-ball lineups. The was something the Jazz struggled with when the Clippers went small against them in the postseason. The Jazz are also looking to sign their own restricted free agent, Trent Forrest, to a two-way deal, according to Jones.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Nuggets began their summer league mini-camp on Friday following a COVID-19 related pause, Kyle Frederickson of the Denver Post reports. Denver’s first three practices were canceled due to health and safety protocols after a positive test and subsequent contact tracing.
  • Kenyon Martin Sr. is back in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Nuggets’ summer league team, Marc Spears of The Undefeated tweets. He’s hoping to remain in the league in a coaching capacity.
  • In a detailed interview with the Timberwolves‘ buyers, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic tells of how former baseball All-Star Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore made their deal with Glen Taylor. The transfer of ownership will be gradual process and Lore prefers it that way. “Glen had the team for almost 30 years. We’re thinking similarly,” Lore said. “We’re going to have this team for at least the next 30 years. … We don’t think we have all the answers. We’re not ready, quite frankly, to be making all the decisions right now.”

A-Rod, Lore Approved By Board Of Governors, Join Wolves Ownership Group

JULY 21: Rodriguez and Lore have officially closed their deal to assume control of 20% of the Wolves and the succession plan is now underway, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The team put out a press release formally welcoming A-Rod and Lore to the ownership group.


JULY 20: The NBA’s Board of Governors conducted a vote today to formally approve Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore as minority shareholders in the Timberwolves, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Rodriguez and Lore reached an agreement with current Wolves owner Glen Taylor that will see the duo eventually take majority control of the franchise, but that won’t happen right away. The succession plan A-Rod and Lore negotiated with Taylor calls for the new owners to take the reins by the 2023/24 season.

Given that arrangement, the league’s Board of Governors only needed to approve Rodriguez and Lore as limited partners for the time being. Once it’s time for majority control to change hands in 2023, another vote will be required, and there’s no reason to believe the new owners won’t be approved at that time.

Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star as an MLB player, winning three MVP awards in 2003, 2005, and 2007, along with a title in 2009. Since retiring from baseball in 2016, A-Rod has become an entrepreneur and media star. His investments include fitness gyms, coconut water, e-sports, Fanatics, and a digital delivery service called goPuff.

Lore began his fortune with Quidsi, which sold to Amazon for $545MM in 2021, and later founded Jet.com, which Walmart bought for $3.3 billion in 2016. He served as Walmart’s eCommerce chief from 2016-21 before stepping down from that position earlier this year.

Rodriguez and Lore are said to be equal partners in the purchase, which also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

Lawsuit Related To Sale Of Timberwolves Dismissed

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Timberwolves’ second-largest shareholder, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. The decision means the sale of the team and the transition plan to new owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez can proceed as outlined in the sale agreement.

Meyer Orbach filed the suit in late May in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, claiming owner Glen Taylor’s arrangement with the buyers violates a partnership agreement by excluding “tag along rights.” That provision gives minority investors the option of selling their interests in the team before Taylor can. Orbach owns 17% of the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, as well as the G League Iowa Wolves and the T-Wolves Gaming eSports franchise.

The judge sided with Taylor’s argument that because Lore and Rodriguez will start with a 20% share before gradually becoming full owners, there’s no initial agreement for controlling interest of the teams, Krawczynski adds (via Twitter). He ruled that Orbach’s contention that he should receive an immediate payout is null and void.

Lore and Rodriguez agreed to purchase the team for $1.5 billion and will serve as limited partners for two years while Taylor keeps majority control. The deal still needs final approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Northwest Notes: Wolves Sale, Conley, Lillard, MPJ

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has filed legal documentation responding to a complaint filed recently by minority shareholder Meyer Orbach, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Orbach, who says he owns approximately 17% of the franchise, argued that his “tag-along rights” were violated, since he didn’t get the opportunity to cash out his stake in the team when the sale agreement with Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore was finalized.

Taylor contends that Orbach is not entitled to be bought out at this point because Rodriguez and Lore won’t assume majority control of the Timberwolves for two more years. For now, the duo has only agreed to purchase 20% of the club — full majority control will be subject to further investment and further league approval over the next two years.

While the legal battle between Taylor and Orbach may ultimately have little-to-no impact on Timberwolves fans, Dane Moore of Blue Wire Podcasts (Twitter link) points to an Instagram comment that made be of more interest to fans in Minnesota.

As Moore writes, Rodriguez replied to a comment asking him to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota by replying, “We will!” There has been speculation that the new ownership group might want to relocate the franchise, but A-Rod’s first public statement on the topic suggests that’s not the plan.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Jazz point guard Mike Conley, who has yet to play in the second round due to a mild right hamstring strain, is “making progress” but remains day-to-day, head coach Quin Snyder said on Monday, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). While Utah could still conceivably win the series if Conley remains unavailable, the last couple games have showed how much the team misses its starting point guard, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic.
  • Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter said during a Monday appearance on SiriusXM Radio that he’d be surprised if Damian Lillard decides he wants to leave Portland, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “He wants to win it all in Portland. I’m saying this every time I talk about him, but he’s definitely one of the most loyal and maybe the most loyal player in the league,” Kanter said. “… He doesn’t care about the big market, big-city base, and that he wants to just bring a championship to Portland and the state of Oregon.”
  • With Michael Porter Jr. up for a rookie scale extension this offseason, Mark Kiszla and Mike Singer of The Denver Post discuss whether the Nuggets should be comfortable putting a maximum-salary offer on the table for the 22-year-old forward.

Northwest Notes: Timberwolves Sale, Micic, Barton, Porter Jr.

A lawsuit filed by a limited partner regarding the agreement to sell the Timberwolves has revealed that there’s no language in the contract that prevents the team from being moved into a different market, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic details. The filing made in district court alleges that team owner Glen Taylor was in breach of contract because limited partner Meyer Orbach, who has a 17% stake in the team, was not given the opportunity to sell his shares before the agreement was completed.

The agreement between Taylor to sell the team to former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore was announced earlier this month.

Taylor has repeatedly said he wants the team to stay in Minneapolis. Sources told Krawczynski that Lore and Rodriguez are committed to the Twin Cities market and there haven’t been any discussions about moving the Timberwolves.

According to the The Athletic’s report, Taylor entered a unique arrangement with Lore and Rodriguez, subject to league approval this summer. They’ll initially invest $250MM and will not be majority partners right from the start. The plan is for the duo to purchase shares of the team gradually and gain  controlling interest by December 2023.

Taylor would thus retain control over the team for two more seasons unless Lore and Rodriguez can pay him off earlier than that.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Thunder draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic was named the EuroLeague’s Final Four Most Valuable Player after leading Anadolu Efes Istanbul to the championship for the first time in club history, according to EuroLeague.net. He averaged 25.0 points and 5.5 assists in the Final Four. He previously was named the league’s MVP after averaging 16.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 38 EuroLeague games. He is a candidate to come stateside for the 2021/22 season.
  • Nuggets swingman Will Barton won’t play against Portland in Game 5 on Tuesday but he could be available for Game 6 and a potential Game 7, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets. Barton, who has been sidelined by a right hamstring strain, practiced in full on Monday.
  • Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. vows to be much more aggressive in Game 5 after a lackluster outing in Game 4, Singer writes. “It’s on us as a team but a lot of it is on me as well,” he said. “If I’m not getting any actions, I’ve got to figure it out in transition, on the glass. I can’t let myself be as small of a factor as I was the last couple of games.”