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Glen Taylor exploring sale of Timberwolves

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by J.R., Jul 21, 2020.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves are for sale.

    Billionaire owner Glen Taylor has retained The Raine Group to sell the franchise he’s owned since 1995, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter. There are several parties who have bid on the team, two of the people said. A deal could be completed within a month, one of the people said.

    Taylor is seeking at least $1.2 billion for the franchise that Forbes says is worth $1.38 billion, one of the people said.
     
  2. Nook

    Nook Member

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    This has been considered for some time.

    I am sure at some point discussions about moving the team out of Minnesota will be brought up.
     
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  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    Should've put it up last season.
     
  4. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    I thought you don't do business with snakes?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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  6. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    https://theathletic.com/1943303/

    Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is exploring options to sell the team he saved from extinction back in 1994 and has made it clear to any group interested that the team must stay in Minnesota, Taylor told The Athletic on Tuesday.

    One of the groups that would have no issue with that edict involves Wolves legend Kevin Garnett, who is preparing to submit a bid, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. It didn’t take long for Garnett to chime in via Twitter.



    Taylor declined to identify the groups who have expressed interest or set a price range, but sources have told The Athletic that the asking price will exceed $1 billion.

    “Everybody’s been told it has to stay in Minnesota,” Taylor said.

    There have been whispers in NBA circles for at least a year that Taylor was open to selling the team. Sportico reported on Tuesday that a deal could be done within a month, but Taylor told The Athletic that nothing is imminent. He said the Raine Group approached him with a prospective buyer in recent months and the two sides met but could not reach a deal. After the talks wrapped up, the Raine Group expressed interest in continuing to comb for candidates, a plan that Taylor approved. The group has identified “several” interested parties and discussions are ongoing.

    Taylor has explored selling the franchise several times over the last decade. Initially he started looking for a limited partner that would come in, ride shotgun for a few years and then take the baton from Taylor. Former Memphis Grizzlies minority owner Steve Kaplan explored that possibility but never was able to extricate himself from the Grizzlies to consummate a deal. Then the Wolves went into a period of dysfunction and uncertainty following Flip Saunders’ passing and Tom Thibodeau’s reign atop the front office.

    Taylor wanted to usher the franchise through that period so he could hand it off in better shape than it was. With Gersson Rosas running the front office, Ryan Saunders as coach and Ethan Casson as CEO, Taylor said he feels the team is on much more solid ground.

    “I think I put a really good team with the Timberwolves,” Taylor said. “I feel really good about that. There’s a good team there. Both the player bunch and the business bunch. So I think I’ve done my responsibility there to have that so it can go on and become better.”

    The Wolves and WNBA’s Lynx have long been under the same roof, both literally and figuratively, and Taylor said he envisioned that remaining the case should he sell the team.

    Taylor said selling the team will also allow him to maximize the return on investment for his limited partners, some of whom have expressed a desire to move on. That, coupled with the uncertainty in the economy created by the COVID-19 pandemic and his advancing age make this the right time to consider moving forward with a sale, he said. The 79-year-old Taylor said he is in good health, but is pouring a lot of his time and effort into his other businesses to help them survive through such a difficult period. He recently sold a large chunk of a hog farm operation and is watching his other businesses closely.

    “I own a whole bunch of companies and my life is pretty complex. … Just another year or two have gone by. I just think as time goes on, I’m more inclined to say I should probably get my house in order here,” Taylor said.

    Garnett’s role in any bid is an intriguing one. He has been at odds with Taylor for years, but remains a beloved figure in the Minnesota basketball community. Garnett and Taylor had a falling out after Flip Saunders’ death, when Garnett felt like promises that were made to allow him to move into ownership after his playing days were over were broken. But Taylor has insisted there was no such arrangement and that he was forced to move forward with other plans for leadership of the basketball side of the operation after Flip Saunders’ sudden death in 2015.

    To this point, Garnett has declined overtures from the organization to return to Target Center for a jersey retirement ceremony. A sale to a group involving Garnett, who has always professed his love for Minnesota and a burning desire to help the franchise that drafted him get on the right track, would help rebuild the bridges that have been napalmed over the last few years. What remains to be seen is Garnett’s ability to raise the money necessary to win a bid, but there is no doubt that he is all in on the effort to do so.



    Several groups have come forward, Taylor said, with an interest of buying the team and then moving it out of Minnesota. Seattle is the city most often cited as a target for a move or expansion, though Las Vegas has gained traction in recent years after the Raiders moved there from Oakland. But Taylor has long viewed the Timberwolves as a state asset and one of the ways he will cement his legacy long after he is gone. He has always resisted offers from those who would not keep the team in Minnesota and that has not changed.

    “People have inquired who are interested, and very interested and have the money, but they want to move a team,” Taylor said. “They are not a candidate. We’ve made that very clear. In those terms, nothing has changed. We got a good team here. We think we have a good future and we want to do anything we can to keep it that way.”

    Taylor bought the team from Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner in 1994, not long after the league rejected an agreement to sell the team to a group that would have moved the Wolves to New Orleans. The early days of his ownership were promising, with the drafting of Garnett, the trades for Stephon Marbury and Tom Gugliotta, eight straight playoff appearances and, eventually, the trip to the Western Conference finals in 2004.

    But the team fell on hard times after that and have only been to the playoffs one time since then. Attendance at Target Center has plummeted to the bottom of the league and there has been growing pressure from the beleaguered fan base for Taylor to sell. He said it is too early to know if a sale would mean an immediate change of power or a scenario where he continued to preside over the team while a new group learned the ropes, but the indications from sources on the bids point to an expedited transfer of power should a sale take place. Taylor said several groups have expressed a desire for him to remain on as a limited partner.

    With all of the momentum seemingly headed that way, Taylor wasn’t ready to do any reflecting on his time as owner just yet.

    “I haven’t done it yet,” Taylor said with a chuckle. “Let’s wait on that one. Ask me that question if I make that decision.”
     
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  7. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Good time to get out before Biden, Bernie and AOC nationalizes the team.
     
  8. JumpMan

    JumpMan Contributing Member
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    Could Garnett get a hometown discount?
     
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  9. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    #9 J.R., Jul 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  10. sirjesse

    sirjesse We don't need another Herro.
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    Dang J.R. You got the TWolves on lock.
     
  11. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Big Gersson Rosas fan. Go Wolves! ;)




    Not really.
     
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  12. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    whoever buys, i hope they break the deal and move the team to los angeles
     
  13. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    The pr0n industry could own a team.
     
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  14. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    to which i will be forced to renounce teh rockets and switch to that new team, tinderwolves
     
  15. Pistol Pete

    Pistol Pete Contributing Member

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    Les Alexander could sell them the flying dildo for their logo.
     
  16. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    will be interesting to see if Taylor is ultimately swayed by $$. In a Supersonic esque type deal to sell to the OKC group who "weren't planning" to relocate the team.

    Covid aside, the Rockets sold for $2.2 billion. Great job Les! Master businessman. Timing, price... he nailed it. Obviously the TWolves should go for less given market size, but the article above says north of a billion. Not knowing exactly what that means, a 50% discount?

    if max offer is say $1.25 from a local group, and $1.75+ from a non-local group, does Taylor leave $500 million on the table?

    That said, apparently Seattle isn't much bigger market than Minneapolis and Las Vegas is still smaller. Still you'd think the franchise would be more valuable in both those markets, and in Vegas in particular the value to a sports team would be disproportionately larger than the media market size.
     
  17. buffalobills!!!

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    Mediocre franchise
     
  18. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Username checks out.
     
  19. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    Wilf?

    Wolf I like to...?
     
  20. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    As Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor’s search for a successor reaches its second month, one group’s interest has stood out above the rest.

    An investment group led by former Memphis Grizzlies minority owner Daniel E. Straus is in advanced discussions to buy the Timberwolves and Lynx from Taylor, sources told The Athletic.

    The sides still have issues to resolve before any full agreement can be completed, sources said.

    The Timberwolves’ availability was first reported on July 21, which is roughly the time that the Straus Group entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Taylor. Representatives from the Straus Group visited the Twin Cities two weeks ago for official meetings, toured the team facilities and reviewed financials as part of their due diligence. The sides had entered an exclusivity agreement that formally expired last week, and both parties have continued discussions about a deal, sources said. Those sources added that Straus would keep the Timberwolves in Minneapolis, as Taylor has mandated for his sale.

    Preliminary documents are being drawn up, and the group plans to press forward with negotiations to try to get a deal done.

    The Athletic reported that Taylor had received initial interest from six to seven groups, but the Straus Group has emerged as the frontrunner, and their talks have been the most extensive to this point.

    Franchise icon Kevin Garnett has expressed an interest in putting together a group to buy the team, but he has not had formal discussions with Taylor to this point, sources said. Garnett is not involved with the Straus group, according to sources. Limited partner Meyer Orbach, for several years the presumed heir apparent to Taylor, was exploring putting a group together but also has yet to officially enter the fray, sources said. There are several other groups that have expressed interest, sources said.

    The 79-year-old Taylor has owned the Timberwolves since 1994. His latest attempt to find a successor who will keep the team in Minnesota ramped up last month when he contracted with the Raine Group, a search firm charged with identifying suitors. He said at the time it was “time to get my house in order,” and he wanted to make sure the Timberwolves and Lynx were in good hands because no one in his family was interested in taking over the team.

    Taylor was buoyed last week by the Timberwolves winning the draft lottery, and he still very much loves being the owner of the Timberwolves and Lynx. While talks with Straus have been viewed as productive, Taylor has been down the road of looking for a successor at least two times previously. Each time that quest has ended with him retaining control of the team. Those who know Taylor well believe he is earnest in his attempt to look for a buyer, but they also know he didn’t rise from the tiny farm town of Comfrey, Minn., to become a billionaire by accident. He will drive a hard bargain, but the goal has been set to find a suitable buyer for the franchise.

    Other issues need to be addressed beyond the price point, sources said. But it is fair to say that talks with Straus represent the closest Taylor has come to selling the team since he saved the franchise from moving 26 years ago. But until handshakes have been exchanged and documents have been signed, those around the Timberwolves organization know anything can happen.

    “I haven’t (sold) it yet,” Taylor said with a chuckle when asked in July whether he was ready to reflect on his run as the Timberwolves and Lynx owner. “Let’s wait on that one. Ask me that question if I make that decision.”

    Straus amassed his fortune in the health-care field, starting with a handful of nursing homes inherited from his father and eventually building CareOne into one of the dominant inpatient providers in the New York area. He is also prominently involved in the health insurance and pharmacy industries and, according to the Straus Group, is the chairman, CEO or controlling shareholder of a portfolio of health-care companies that have revenue in excess of $5 billion.

    In an odd twist, the closest Taylor has come to selling the franchise prior to these talks was in 2017 when another former Grizzlies minority owner, Steve Kaplan, expressed interest. Those talks fizzled out and Taylor doubled down from there, amassing an even larger percentage of Timberwolves shares.

    Taylor has been firm in his desire to sell to a group that will keep the team in Minnesota. The team’s lease at Target Center runs through 2035, but the $50 million penalty for breaking the lease early is peanuts in relation to the final purchase price. The Straus Group has been exploring what it would take to further renovate the second-oldest building in the league, a city-owned structure that received a $145 million facelift in 2017, sources said.

    Straus ended his run as an owner in Memphis in 2018 during a complicated buy/sell process with majority owner Robert Pera. It was a tense setup, with Pera owning around 26 percent of the team and Kaplan and Straus each owning about 14 percent. But Straus earned praise around the organization for his low-key approach and hands-off demeanor. At the time of his exit, it was reported in Memphis that Straus was not interested in being the principal owner of an NBA team. Sources say he took the money made from his investment in the Grizzlies and started canvassing the New York area for more investors to put a group together to pursue another franchise.

    If a handshake agreement is reached between the sides, Straus would have to go through the formal approval process with the NBA. His previous experience as an owner in Memphis should make the vetting and approval process much smoother than it would be with a group that was coming in without that background.
     

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