Glen Taylor

Northwest Notes: Reid, Lillard, Wallace, Holmgren

The Timberwolvesdecision to re-sign Naz Reid before the start of free agency stemmed from an edict by owner Glen Taylor, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “Get it done,” Taylor reportedly told his front office after meeting with partners and eventual owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez. They also talked to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and head coach Chris Finch, who agreed there was too much risk in letting Reid reach the open market.

The 23-year-old center is one of the team’s best developmental projects and has become a valuable member of the reserve unit. Krawczynski notes that Reid was given a player option in the third year of his $42MM contract in case he becomes dissatisfied with his progress and playing time with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert on the roster. Krawczynski adds that the Spurs and Kings could have been threats to sign Reid because of their available cap space and their ability to offer him a larger role.

Negotiations with Reid began shortly after Connelly joined the front office last summer, Krawczynski states. Reid worked out in Minnesota during the offseason and reported to camp with an improved perimeter game that enabled him to be effective alongside either Towns or Gobert.

The Wolves agreed to pay Reid more than they had originally expected, which Krawczynski notes will lead to difficult decisions in the future. Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels are both likely to receive extensions this summer, which will make it tough to keep three high-salaried centers on the roster for the long term.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • If the Heat acquire Damian Lillard, it will probably be the last significant move the team can make for a while, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer writes in an examination of the trade market for the Trail Blazers star. A deal with Portland would likely require Miami to give up most of its remaining assets, which include first-round picks in 2028 and 2030 and pick swaps in 2027 and 2029, along with Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez. Either Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson will have to be involved if a trade happens after July 1, O’Connor adds. O’Connor also looks at a potential deal with the Nets, but states that there aren’t many other teams in need of a point guard who have the assets to make a serious offer for Lillard.
  • The Thunder were attracted to Cason Wallace because of his unselfish approach to the game, according to Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman. General manager Sam Presti said he noticed that quality even when Wallace was playing in all-star contests. “He plays no-agenda basketball,” Presti said. “… All players have stories, and I think his story is a great one because in today’s world in, basketball, there’s so many people saying, ‘You’ve got to get more shots, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to be more out in front, you’ve got to draw more attention to yourself.’ This guy got drafted in the top 10 by just being an incredible team player.”
  • Presti said Chet Holmgren continues to make progress in his recovery from foot surgery and there’s hope that he’ll be able to play for the Thunder during Summer League, according to Cody Taylor of The Rookie Wire.

Lore, A-Rod Make Second Payment, Now Own 40% Of Timberwolves

The plan for Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez to succeed Glen Taylor as the controlling owners of the Timberwolves continues to move forward, as they have officially made their second payment and now own 40% of the team, sources tell Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (all Twitter links).

Lore and Rodriguez made a combined $290MM payment this time around and have now paid out more than $500MM in total, according to Charania and Krawczynski. Both owners have committed more than $200MM individually and have invested more than the required amount to this point in their agreement to buy the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

The incoming owners exercised their option to buy another 20% of the team back in December. A spokesperson for the duo confirmed a couple weeks ago that a second payment would be made on time.

The final stage of the ownership change would see Lore and A-Rod exercise an option to buy another 40% of the team by December 31, 2023. The last payment is on track for March 2024, per The Athletic’s duo — assuming that happens, Lore and Rodriguez would then control 80% of the team, while Taylor would be a minority owner with a 20% stake.

Lore and A-Rod released a statement confirming the news, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune.

We are very excited to enter this next phase of ownership. We very much appreciate Glen’s partnership and guidance and will continue to work tirelessly alongside him to bring success to the fans of Minnesota.”

Rodriguez — a former MLB star — has now invested more cash than any former athlete purchasing a professional sports team, according to The Athletic. He has surpassed Michael Jordan, who paid $180MM to buy the Hornets in 2010.

There were reportedly some concerns in 2022 about A-Rod’s liquidity and some speculation that the plan for Rodriguez and Lore to assume majority control of the Wolves could be in trouble, but clearly it remains on track. Lore is a tech entrepreneur who made his fortune in eCommerce.

Lore, A-Rod On Track To Buy Next 20% Stake In Timberwolves

The plan for Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez to succeed Glen Taylor as the controlling owners of the Timberwolves continues to move forward, according to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, who report that Lore and Rodriguez have exercised their option to buy another 20% of the team.

When Lore and Rodriguez reached an agreement with Taylor in the spring of 2021, the succession plan called for the new owners to initially come aboard as minority stakeholders with a 20% share of the franchise. The duo had until the end of 2022 to exercise an option to purchase another 20%, bringing their total stake in the club to 40%.

Now that Lore and A-Rod have exercised that option, they’ll have until March 15 to formally close on their second 20%, according to Krawczynski and Charania.

The final stage of the ownership change would see Lore and A-Rod exercise an option to buy another 40% of the team by December 31, 2023. Assuming that happens, the duo would then control 80% of the Timberwolves. Sources tell The Athletic that the plan is for Taylor to retain a 20% stake after giving up majority control of the team.

A report in August raised questions about whether Rodriguez had the liquidity necessary to contribute his half of the purchasing price and suggested that the deal could be in jeopardy, but it appears it’s still moving forward as planned.

As Krawczynski and Charania point out, Taylor would have the right to nix the succession plan and retain Lore and Rodriguez as limited shareholders if they miss either of the next two payments. However, the buyers have expressed confidence that those payments remain on track to be completed, per The Athletic’s report.

According to Krawczynski and Charania, Lore and Rodriguez have recruited other investors to join their Purple Buyers Holdings LLC, and should be in good position to bring in more if they need to do so. The recent $4 billion valuation the Suns received as part of their sale to Mat Ishbia was good news for Lore and A-Rod, since the Wolves – who are selling at a $1.5 billion valuation – look like a bargain by comparison.

Once they control 40% of the franchise, Lore and A-Rod will have invested $600MM in the Wolves, with another $600MM to come. The duo has already been involved in front office and personnel decisions in preparation of assuming majority control in another year.

Northwest Notes: A-Rod, Garnett, Nuggets, Mitchell

The sale of the Timberwolves shouldn’t be considered in jeopardy because of Alex Rodriguez’s reported financial situation, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Krawczynski talked to multiple sources who still expect the transaction to be completed as originally drawn up, even though a New York Post story this week questioned whether Rodriguez will have the money for his share of the next payment.

Rodriguez and Marc Lore have a unique arrangement with current owner Glen Taylor in which they are taking over full ownership on an installment plan. The next payment is due at the end of this year and the final one must be made by December 31, 2023. Krawczynski says there has been skepticism in some parts of the league about Lore and Rodriguez since the deal was announced, but there’s no immediate reason to believe they’ll miss either payment.

Krawczynski also notes that the duo has earned Taylor’s trust, as he empowered them to recruit president of basketball operations Tim Connelly away from Denver and gave them a voice on the Rudy Gobert trade.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Timberwolves, including Lore and Rodriguez, want to fix their relationship with Kevin Garnett and eventually retire his jersey, Krawczynski adds. The former All-Star may get the chance to buy a small piece of the team, although Krawczynski hasn’t heard of any “substantive discussions” toward that end. Garnett has also discussed being part of an ownership group for an expansion team in Seattle.
  • The Nuggets traded for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and signed Bruce Brown this offseason because of their projected fit alongside Nikola Jokic, assistant general manager Tommy Balcetis said in an interview with Fastbreak on Fan Nation. “Getting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown are both moves that really stand out for us because they are two players who understand their roles and are tailor-made to play with someone like Nikola,” Balcetis said. “… With Kentavious, his abilities to shoot and defend at a high level are what separate him from others who play his position. Bruce is a versatile guy on both ends of the floor that will fit into any role we need him in as well.”
  • The Jazz offered a farewell message to Donovan Mitchell after his trade to the Cavaliers became official today (Twitter link). We got to watch you light up the league as a rookie and cheer you on as you became a perennial All-Star,” it read. “We witnessed you embrace and serve our community while standing for what’s right and uniting Jazz fans everywhere. Thank you for all the good you did here @spidadmitchell.”

Alex Rodriguez’s Financial Situation Puts Timberwolves Deal In Jeopardy

Alex Rodriguez is struggling to come up with his share of the money to buy the Timberwolves, according to business writer Josh Kosman of The New York Post.

Rodriguez and Marc Lore were originally supposed to be equal partners in the $1.5 billion purchase, which included a $250MM down payment made in July of 2021. However, three sources tell Kosman that Rodriguez wasn’t able to pay 50% of that cost and Lore had to cover the balance. That leaves Lore with about a 13% share of the team, while Rodriguez is at 7%.

Under the purchase agreement, the prospective owners are required to make their next 20% payment by the end of the year. Kosman’s sources said Rodriguez continues to have difficulty raising his share, and Lore may eventually become the team’s majority owner. “I wouldn’t be surprised if A-Rod becomes a subservient No. 2 to Lore,” one of the sources said.

Lore refused to confirm or deny the report, telling Kosman that he and Rodriguez still work together on all their decisions.

“I couldn’t imagine having a better partner. He is one of my best friends,” Lore said. “There is no one else I would rather be partners with than Alex.”

A source familiar with both investors said Lore teamed up with Rodriguez in a failed attempt to buy the New York Mets in 2020 because he was “completely mesmerized” by Jennifer Lopez, whom Rodriguez was engaged to at the time. The star quality of Lopez created a lot of financial opportunities for Rodriguez, but those have disappeared since their breakup last year.

“His ability to raise capital went from strong to meaningfully weaker,” one of Kosman’s sources said. “J.Lo validated him.”

Rodriguez is reportedly worth about $500MM, but sources say most of his assets aren’t liquid and can’t be easily transferred to cash that could be used to buy the Wolves. Kosman notes that NBA rules won’t allow Rodriguez to become a partial owner unless he can cover at least 15% of the total purchase price without help from co-investors. That figure would be nearly $200MM with the team’s debt factored in.

If Rodriguez and Lore make their next payment on time, they’ll have the opportunity to buy an additional 40% from current owner Glen Taylor and take over control of the team by the end of next year. But a league source tells Kosman that Taylor won’t be disappointed if the current arrangement falls through because he believes the franchise is now worth more than $2 billion and he can make more by selling it to someone else.

Wolves’ Glen Taylor Talks Gobert, McDaniels, Russell, Towns

Appearing on The Scoop podcast with Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and 5 Eyewitness News, Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor admitted he was somewhat surprised by the team’s acquisition of star center Rudy Gobert, since it “happened fairly fast.”

According to Taylor, new Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly had his eye on multiple impact trade targets, but Gobert was his “number one option.” The input of head coach Chris Finch, who expressed confidence in his ability to use Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, was also a key factor in Minnesota’s decision to pull the trigger on the blockbuster deal.

“What I did when Tim and Chris talked to me about this trade is to ask (Finch) is there a system that he knows how to utilize these players,” Taylor said. “And he was very confident that he did understand how to utilize their skill sets, being two big guys. We talked about a lot, so he convinced me that this is something that is going to take us to a winning situation, and gave us the go-ahead to make the trade.”

Taylor confirmed that the Jazz pushed for Jaden McDaniels to be part of the trade package for Gobert, which “prolonged the trade talks for a while,” but the Wolves were eventually able to meet Utah’s asking price without including the young forward.

Here’s more from Taylor on the Wolves:

  • Asked if he’d like to see D’Angelo Russell sign an extension before the season begins, Taylor said it might benefit both sides to hold off and see how the 2022/23 season goes. “(Finch) believes that with the new lineup, and with Russell in that lineup, that he’ll have a much better year just because of the way we’re going to play,” Taylor said. “He says he thinks there’s a big upside for Russell with this group of (players). That’s to his advantage and to our advantage if it works out.”
  • The decision to give Towns a super-max extension this offseason was an easy one, Taylor said: “It was a non-issue. That’s what we set it up for, the elite players, and Karl has proved he’s one of those players.”
  • Taylor said that he doesn’t expect the Timberwolves to make any more significant roster moves this offseason, though he didn’t rule out the possibility that Connelly could surprise him. “I just know Tim keeps his ears and eyes open all the time, looking (to see) if there’s something else that might happen,” Taylor said. “He’s very proactive if he sees an opportunity that could enhance our team. I think we’re set, but always knowing that he’ll be looking for an opportunity.”
  • The plan remains for Taylor to hand over control of the franchise to incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in a little over a year. The Wolves’ longtime owner said he’s not having any regrets about giving up control of the team as it becomes a more legitimate contender. “No, I don’t have any second thoughts. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “We’ve left some options open that I’ll continue to be involved if I want to be involved, and that suits me just fine.”

Northwest Notes: Taylor, Lore, A-Rod, Kroenke, Jazz

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has forged a sound working relationship with minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, proven by their successful recruitment of Denver’s Tim Connelly to head up their front office, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski writes. Taylor, who allowed the duo to design an offer that would be very difficult for the Nuggets to match, enjoys the ambition and energy of Lore and A-Rod and has gained confidence in their ability to complete a major transaction.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The press conference involving Nuggets president/governor Josh Kroenke has been postponed after he recently tested positive for COVID-19. He is one of several members of the organization to test positive this week, according to the team. The press conference, scheduled for today, has been tentatively moved to Tuesday, according to the Denver Post’s Mike Singer (Twitter links).
  • What are the Jazz seeking to upgrade their roster? A long, rangy wing player who is solid offensively and can defend on the perimeter and switch 1-to-5, Tony Jones of The Athletic writes. However, those players are in high demand throughout the league, which makes the Jazz’s task of finding such a player quite difficult.
  • The Jazz’s draft workout on Thursday included R.J. Cole (UConn), Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Johnny Juzang (UCLA), Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall), Akoldah Gak (Australia) and Trevion Williams (Purdue), Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Williams (No. 50 on ESPN’s Best Available list) is the highest-rated among that group of second-round prospects.

Nuggets’ Connelly To Meet This Weekend With Wolves Owner

Nuggets president Tim Connelly will meet with Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor regarding the top executive position within Minnesota’s organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Connelly has already discussed the position extensively with minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez and an in-person meeting with Taylor is next in the process, Wojnarowski adds (Twitter links).

As Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets, Lore and Rodriguez have significant influence over the process, but Taylor has to sign off on any deal.

Reports regarding Minnesota’s interest in Connelly surfaced on Wednesday. He has been the head of Denver’s basketball operations since 2013, when he was named vice president of basketball operations and general manager. He was promoted to president in 2017.

Connelly is the first external candidate to be officially linked to the lead basketball job in Minnesota’s front office. Executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta, who has been serving as the head of the basketball operations department on an interim basis following the dismissal of Gersson Rosas in September, remains a candidate for the position.

Lore and Rodriguez have pushed to have a proven, prominent exec take over the basketball operations, regardless of the cost. The Nuggets have been aware of Minnesota’s interest in Connelly for some time and don’t appear poised to make a major counter-offer, Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets.

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.