Glen Taylor

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.”

Shareholder Files Complaint Over Pending Sale Of Timberwolves

MAY 27: Taylor has issued the following statement, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link):I am aware of the story published by ESPN and the litigation that has been filed. As a policy, we do not comment on pending legal matters. I stand by my prior statements and commitment to keeping the Timberwolves and Lynx in Minnesota.”


MAY 26: The Timberwolves‘ second largest shareholder has filed a legal complaint related to the pending sale of the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Meyer Orbach filed the document today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleging that Glen Taylor‘s agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez violates the franchise’s partnership agreement. The complaint charges that Taylor didn’t honor “tag along rights” that would give minority investors the opportunity to sell their interests in the team before Taylor does.

Orbach owns more than 17% of the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. He claims the “tag along” provision should be exercised immediately once the sale is finalized.

Lore and Rodriguez reached an agreement on May 13 to buy the Wolves for $1.5 billion, but the purchase won’t be official until the new owners receive approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Orbach’s complaint reveals that Taylor didn’t include a provision in the sale agreement that would prohibit Lore and Rodriguez from moving the franchise away from Minnesota, Wojnarowski adds. Taylor has spoken frequently of his commitment to the area and his desire for the team to remain in place once he no longer owns it.

Instead, the agreement has a clause that would require the new owners to “present to the Advisory Board for discussion” any plan to take the franchise out of the Twin Cities market, Wojnarowski states. However, there is no language in the deal that expressly prohibits a move.

Timberwolves Confirm Sale Agreement

The Timberwolves have issued a statement confirming that the team will be sold to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Glen Taylor has reached an agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez regarding the sale and future ownership of the Wolves and (WNBA) Lynx,” the statement reads. “The transaction will close following league approval beginning the transition of ownership and a new chapter.”

The sale price will be $1.5 billion, and operating control will transfer to Lore and Rodriguez in the 2023/24 season, Windhorst adds (via Twitter). Also included in the sale are the team’s G League affiliate (the Iowa Wolves) and eSports franchise (T-Wolves Gaming).

News of the formal agreement broke Thursday, with a report that a deal was in place after several weeks of negotiating. Lore and Rodriguez went past their 30-day exclusive window, but it turned out to be necessary for all the details to be finalized.

Since negotiations began, the plan has been for Lore and Rodriguez to serve as limited partners for two years while Taylor retains majority control. That will give them an opportunity to become fully immersed in the operations of an NBA franchise before taking it over completely.

Taylor, who recently turned 80, has put the team on the market several times over the years, but hadn’t been able to find the right offer. He has been insistent that any new owners keep the team in Minnesota.

Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore Reach Agreement To Buy Timberwolves

Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore have an agreement in place to buy the Timberwolves from current owner Glen Taylor, a source tells A.J. Perez and Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.

As previously reported, the valuation of the franchise in the sale is $1.5 billion, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania (Twitter link), Rodriguez and Lore, who are expected to formally sign the paperwork shortly, will be equal partners in the purchase.

The deal, which includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, won’t be official until it receives approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors, as Perez and McCarthy note. However, there’s no indication that won’t be a formality now that Rodriguez and Lore have reached an agreement with Taylor.

Rodriguez and Lore appeared close to finalizing a deal to buy the Wolves from Taylor back on April 10, when the two sides entered into a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to hammer out the specific details. That 30-day window ended earlier this week, but the parties continued to negotiate in good faith, with Lore expressing that he believed the talks were “close to the finish line.” It seems he was right.

We’ll have to wait for confirmation on the terms of the agreement, but the plan all along has been for Taylor to retain majority control of the franchise for the time being, with Rodriguez and Lore initially serving as limited partners. The new owners would take the reins by the 2023/24 season. The Nets took a similar approach to their most recent sale, with Joe Tsai purchasing a partial stake in the franchise from Mikhail Prokhorov before eventually assuming majority control.

Taylor, who bought the team for $88MM in 1994, has placed it on the market several times over the years, but hadn’t found an offer he was willing to accept until now. The 80-year-old was insistent on keeping the Wolves in Minnesota and wanted to find purchasers who would agree to become short-term partners so he could mentor them before they fully took over.

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.

Arthur Hill contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marc Lore Believes Wolves Negotiations “Close To Finish Line”

As we detailed on Tuesday, the exclusive 30-day negotiating window that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and a group led by Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore entered into last month expired this week, but the two sides reportedly continue to negotiate in good faith.

Speaking to Matthew Boyle of Bloomberg, Lore confirmed that point and expressed optimism that a deal will get done. According to Boyle, Lore said that talks with Taylor are “going well” and that he thinks they’re “getting close to the finish line.”

While Lore’s comments don’t provide any guarantees, they’re an encouraging sign, given that Taylor has entered into exclusive negotiating windows with potential suitors for the team in the past and has never completed a deal.

Taylor appears to have gotten much further down the road with Lore and Rodriguez than with those previous bidders. The two sides have already agreed on some key points, including a valuation in the $1.5 billion range for the franchise, and a plan to have Lore and A-Rod come aboard as limited partners before they eventually assume majority control.

Still, with the exclusivity window closed and no deal officially done, there’s an opening for other interested parties to get in touch with Taylor and attempt to gain some traction in discussions of their own. Marc Stein of The New York Times reports (via Twitter) that former NBA wing Arron Afflalo, who is heading up one potential ownership group, intends to resume his efforts to buy the team. It remains to be seen if those talks or others will go anywhere.

Timberwolves Sale Negotiations Continue Beyond 30-Day Window

When a group led by former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and tech entrepreneur Marc Lore reached a tentative agreement to buy the Timberwolves from current owner Glen Taylor last month, the two sides entered into a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to finalize the terms of the deal.

That 30-day window has now closed, and Rodriguez, Lore, and Taylor have yet to complete their agreement, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN writes. However, the parties continue to negotiate in good faith in the hopes of hammering out a deal, Windhorst adds.

As Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), the end of the 30-day window didn’t represent a deadline to finalize the sale. It simply gave the two sides a month to focus on completing a deal without Taylor considering other potential buyers.

Now that the window has closed, Taylor could theoretically look elsewhere, but it sounds like he remains focused on the Rodriguez/Lore group. The two sides may agree to extend the exclusive negotiating window, Windhorst notes, though that hasn’t been done yet.

Taylor has entered into exclusive negotiating windows in the past with interested parties and hasn’t closed a deal in those instances. However, he never got as far down the road with any of those previous suitors as he has with Rodriguez and Lore.

As we detailed last month, the two sides have agreed on a valuation of the franchise in the $1.5 billion range, which would include the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx in addition to the Timberwolves.

The two sides have also agreed on a plan to have Rodriguez and Lore initially come aboard as minority partners before assuming majority control by the 2023/24 season. According to Windhorst, one issue that has been at the center of discussions in recent weeks has been a guarantee that Taylor will cede his majority control of the franchise by a specific date.

It still appears that the parties will eventually work out the specific terms and agree to a deal, but until the sale is official, it’s a situation worth monitoring.

Northwest Notes: Gordon, Clarkson, Dort, Wolves

In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon spoke about how he impressed he has been with Nikola Jokic during his first few weeks in Denver, and said his team still has championship aspirations this season, even with Jamal Murray unavailable for the postseason.

Additionally, acknowledging rumors that the Celtics tried hard to acquire him at last month’s deadline, Gordon said he would’ve enjoyed playing in Boston, but stated that he views the Nuggets as an ideal fit for his skill set.

“Obviously Boston has those guys with (Jayson) Tatum and (Jaylen) Brown, and they would have been hell of fun to play with,” Gordon told Amick. “But I feel like Denver was just the best fit to showcase my well-roundedness as a ballplayer, the defensive aspect and the offensive (aspect) — basically just (the) glue that I can bring. The guy who can fill in, do a little bit of everything on the offensive end and then lock up the other team’s best player, or at least make their night hard, make it a frustrating night for them.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson is considered the frontrunner for this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award, but he tells Mark Medina of USA Today that his “main goal” is trying to win games and to win a title — but he’d be honored to win the award. “If the Sixth Man of the Year award comes and I don’t get it, I don’t need the validation because my teammates, coaching staff and a lot of my peers gave me that,” Clarkson said. “They’re telling me, ‘I respect what you do’ and all of that. So, I know that goes a long way as well. But it’s definitely something I want to get accomplished one of these years. Hopefully it’s this year.”
  • Thunder wing Luguentz Dort expressed interest in representing Team Canada in the Olympic qualifiers this summer, tweets Steven Loung of Sportsnet. While Dort said he was willing to “try out” for the team, it’s a safe bet that Team Canada would welcome him onto the roster if he wants a spot.
  • As we wait for Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to work out a sale agreement with potential new owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore, Lee Schafter of The Star Tribune explains why he thinks Taylor’s pledge to keep the team in Minnesota should be successful, while Chris Hine of The Star Tribune looks at the roadblocks that would be in the way of the new ownership group attempted a move.
  • While the plan is for Rodriguez and Lore to begin as limited partners before they eventually assume majority control of the Timberwolves, sources told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic last week that the new owners will still have a “significant influence” on the team’s basketball and business operations right away. Krawczynski also heard that the Wolves’ financial situation isn’t in bad shape, signaling that the NBA remains viable in the market.

Latest On The Sale Of The Timberwolves

Any agreement to sell the Timberwolves will include a provision that the team must be kept in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor tells Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

News broke Saturday night that Taylor was in the late stages of a deal to sell the team to former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire investor Marc Lore. The Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA would also be included, according to Hine.

“They will keep the team here, yes. We will put it in the agreement,” Taylor said. “At this point we have a letter of intent, but when we make up the contract we’ll put that in there. That’s no problem. That won’t be a problem.”

Hine checked with legal experts last summer who said it might be difficult to enforce contract provisions that the team can’t be moved. The franchise has a lease for use of the Target Center with the city of Minneapolis that runs through 2035 and includes a $50MM penalty for leaving early.

However, the potential new owners haven’t indicated that they plan to take the Wolves anywhere else. Taylor said they bonded quickly during a meeting this week at his home in Naples, Florida, and signed a letter of intent Saturday afternoon that gives Rodriguez and Lore exclusive negotiating rights for 30 days.

“Just in the last week or so did I make contact with these guys,” Taylor said. “They had indicated they had some interest in being involved in the ownership. I had not known them personally, so contacted them, talked to them on the phone, did all that, really liked how it went.”

Taylor said they agreed on “everything” once negotiations began, including his vision of mentoring a new ownership group for two seasons before the transfer becomes complete. Under the reported agreement, Rodriguez and Lore will become partial owners before taking over completely in 2023.

“When I met them and talked to them and just in the conversation what they were after — they’re bright people, very bright people, very competitive,” Taylor said. “I could see them challenging me which I liked to have. … They said, ‘We got to learn about basketball. We’d like you to stay around and help us run it for a while.’ Then we’ll switch over. Those meet all of my goals.”

Rodriguez and Lore will be in Minneapolis on Monday to meet with Timberwolves and Lynx employees, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Taylor told Wolfson he met with four other groups that were interested in buying the team, but Rodriguez and Lore made the best impression.

Taylor has put the team on the market before without finding a buyer, leading to questions about how serious he was in his desire to sell. A group led by Arron Afflalo was interested, and Kevin Garnett was reportedly preparing a bid for the team last summer. However, Taylor said he never heard from Garnett or any group that was affiliated with him.

Taylor has owned the team since 1994, when he bought it to prevent a move to New Orleans. As he nears his 80th birthday, he wants to be sure the franchise will be in good hands.

“It gives me peace of mind,” Taylor said. “At my age, going ahead, if something happens to me, I know what’s going to happen to the Timberwolves. It’s all kind of set. I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to have my family worry about it. In the next couple years, if everything goes as I hope, I still can participate. So it gives me the best of both worlds.”

Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore Finalizing Purchase Of Timberwolves

Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore are finalizing a deal to purchase the Timberwolves, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Under the agreement, current owner Glen Taylor will retain control of the franchise for two more seasons before it shifts to Rodriguez and Lore in 2023.

“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor,” Rodriguez and Lore said in a prepared statement. “Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization.” (Twitter link)

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic first noted the interest from the potential buyers (Twitter link).

Rodriguez and Lore signed a letter of intent today that provides a 30-day exclusive negotiating window to finalize the purchase, Krawczynski writes in a full story.

Sources tell The Athletic that Rodriguez and Lore would become limited partners — each with an even stake — in the current ownership group for the next two and a half years before Taylor steps aside. Taylor, who will turn 80 later this month, has owned the team for 27 years and has been looking for someone to take it over.

According to Krawczynski, negotiations have already produced agreement on several key elements of the sale, include a $1.5 billion valuation for the franchise. Rodriguez and Lore met with Taylor this week at his Naples, Fla., home and made significant progress in negotiations.

If a purchase agreement is reached, the new owners would need approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors before a sale can be finalized.

Taylor, who purchased the team for $88MM in 1994, has placed it on the market several times, Krawcyznski adds, but hasn’t found an offer he was willing to accept. He was insistent on keeping it in Minnesota and wanted to find purchasers who would agree to become short-term partners so he could mentor them before they fully took over.

Since retiring from baseball in 2016, Rodriguez has become an entrepreneur and media star, Krawczynski notes. 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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Timberwolves Notes: Collins, Taylor, Rosas, Fans

The Timberwolves are “dying” to acquire Hawks forward John Collins, ESPN commentator Jackie McMullan said on The Bill Simmons Podcast (hat tip to Kurt Helin of NBC Sports). “Minnesota is dying to have him. Minnesota wants him bad,” McMullan said. “What will they offer? I don’t know. They really want him. I think there are other teams too, but Minnesota particularly.” Minnesota’s interest in Collins, who will be a restricted free agent after the season, has previously been reported.

We have more on the Timberwolves:

  • Owner Glen Taylor could get approximately $1.3 billion for the franchise if he sells the team now but the owner and the franchise have major image problems, as Jabari Young of CNBC details. Former franchise player Kevin Garnett is feuding again with Taylor and top executive Gersson Rosas stirred controversy by passing over popular in-house candidate David Vanterpool when he replaced head coach Ryan Saunders with Raptors assistant Chris Finch. Rosas has also tried to build around Karl-Anthony Towns but the roster is lacking 3-point shooters to make it work.
  • The Wolves will start allowing fans at Target Center on April 5, according to a team press release. Season ticket members will get priority for the final 12 games of the season, though the release doesn’t indicate how many people will be allowed in the building.
  • In case you missed it, Hoops Rumors had an exclusive interview with Jaylen Nowell. You can check it out here.