NBA rumors: Another suitor emerges to purchase the Timberwolves

The Straus Group, the family office of Daniel E. Straus, is exploring a purchase of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves from billionaire owner Glen A. Taylor, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The firm is one of multiple suitors for the basketball franchise, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It couldn’t immediately be learned if the group was working alone or as part of a consortium.

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The Star Tribune spoke to a number of lawyers and the consensus was that doing so doesn’t seem as simple as baking it into a contract and tying the new owners to Minneapolis permanently. A deal likely would have to have parameters about how long such an agreement, or covenant, would last, and any financial penalty for breaking that covenant couldn’t be overly severe. The league has not responded to Star Tribune requests for comment regarding the sale of the Wolves. “You could have some contingencies … and I’m sure there could be a provision that relates to keeping the team in place,” said Eldon Ham, an author and professor of sports law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. “But I don’t think it would be able to extend forever.”
At the crux of any guarantee to keep the Wolves in Minnesota would be how long that guarantee would last or how harsh the financial penalty would be for breaking it. Ham said any kind of agreement that makes outlandish demands, like a 30-year promise to keep the team in Minnesota, might not make it past league approval, which requires a $1 million fee just to apply, he said. “The league itself has to approve all this,” Ham said. “So if you have a ridiculous contract, they’re just going to tell you: ‘We’re not approving this stuff.’ “If there’s something in there that says the applicant shall not apply to remove the team from the city or the state or whatever for a year or something like that, you might try to get that to fly. I don’t see anything in the bylaws that says you couldn’t have that in the contract, but the NBA itself might say, ‘We don’t like it.’ ”
An ownership group led by longtime NBA player Arron Afflalo is putting together an offer to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, two people with knowledge of the bid said. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the deal was still in the process of being submitted. The group will consist of two to five individuals with a net worth of more than $10 billion. According to the people, Afflalo's group will submit the bid no later than this weekend.
The people familiar with Afflalo's group said the team won't be relocated. The 34-year-old Afflalo would be the face of the group, with venture capitalist Brock Berglund spearheading the financing. The only Black primary owner in the NBA now is Michael Jordan in Charlotte. It's a diverse group seeking to place minorities in positions of power and uplift the community in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the handcuffed Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly 8 minutes.
The Wilf family that owns the Minnesota Vikings has emerged as a serious candidate to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, NFL sources told ESPN. Only recently did the Wilfs emerge as one of the groups bidding to buy the NBA team in their city from billionaire Glen Taylor, sources said. There are several bidders for the team, including metropolitan New York real estate developer Meyer Orbach, who bought a minority stake in the Timberwolves in 2016. Former Timberwolves standout Kevin Garnett also said he is forming a group to try to purchase the team.
But the Wilfs appear to be in a prime spot at this time to buy the Timberwolves, though a decision on the sale might not be made until September, sources said. Taylor has owned the team since 1994, when he bought it for about $88 million. He has retained The Raine Group to sell the franchise. He is seeking at least $1.2 billion for the team that has been valued at close to $1.4 billion.
Darren Wolfson: I talked to Glen for 15ish minutes earlier this hour. We'll have a sound byte on @KSTP at 6:55. He did mention some groups talking to him about remaining on, thus he can help protect his guys in the organization. Will post full chat when editing computer frees up. #Timberwolves
Kevin Garnett: My passion for the Minnesota Timberwolves to be a championship team is well known but I have a deeper affection for the city of Minneapolis. I once again want to see Minneapolis as the diverse and loving community that I know it is. No two people love the city more than myself and Glen Taylor and I look forward to trying to work with him to achieve my dream.
Shams Charania: For Garnett, this bid is personal because of his stature within the franchise. Garnett wants to purchase the team and keep it in Minnesota, sources said. Glen Taylor told @JonKrawczynski that keeping the franchise in Minny is a requirement.
Jon Krawczynski: Glen Taylor says he thinks the Timberwolves and Lynx will remain under one house should a sale happen. "The way I run it, it's all one thing. I would assume we would want to keep it that way and make it more efficient."

https://twitter.com/ChristopherHine/status/1285684324591964165
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, who bought the team for about $88 million, didn’t want a public auction and instead opted to ask Raine to find a buyer without the usual fanfare that accompanies a franchise sale, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the matter is private. The sale isn’t related to financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the people said.
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Matisse Thybulle was a central figure in the Boomers’ undefeated run against Argentina, Team USA and Nigeria through a series of exhibition matches in Las Vegas, where his scoring was a particularly welcome sight. While he was named to the NBA all-defensive second team this season, the Philadelphia 76er averages 3.9 points per game. “For me, it’s pretty obvious what I bring to the table. That’s athleticism, defence and, as I keep growing, what I can do around the three-point line,” Thybulle told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s just great to see how well my skill set has integrated, just being able to complement them [teammates] as best I can is ultimately my goal. It’s been so fun for me to do that and have so much success early.”
Storyline: Olympics
His father, who regularly travelled, ensured his son qualified for a dual passport before the family returned to the US, something Thybulle – named after the French artist Henri Matisse, whose work inspired Greg while he was backpacking through Europe – didn’t really appreciate as a youngster. “He used to make such a deal of that when we were kids. I was like: ‘Who cares?’ As a kid you take everything for granted, right?” Thybulle said. Now that I have got older, it’s a really big deal. Even before the Olympics, people thought it was so special that I have that. Now that this opportunity has come and I am able to use this and be a part of it, it just makes it that much better.”
Thybulle lost his mother to leukemia in 2015 but her love of Australia lives on. “I think she would be excited. My mum was never a huge basketball fan,” Thybulle said. “She enjoyed me pushing myself and growing in anything. In my case, that happened to be basketball where it happened the most. She would be happy for me to embrace my Australian side and to see how valuable our time was there when we were kids.”
July 23, 2021 | 2:45 pm EDT Update

Kevin Durant buys $15.6 million mansion in Los Angeles

Kevin Durant still has off-season love for Southern California, it would seem. Two summers ago, the perennial All-Star bounced out of his oceanfront Malibu villa, selling the $12.2 million house to “CSI” television franchise creator Anthony Zuiker. A professional move from the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to the Brooklyn Nets soon followed. But now Durant is back, and the 32-year-old holds the keys to a $15.6 million mansion in Hidden Hills, a celebrity-packed guard-gated city in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.
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Built this year by a local developer on speculation, the house was pre-sold to Durant prior to its completion, and was never on the market — so details remain exceptionally slim. But the two-story mansion is large, probably around 10,000 square feet, and was designed in the trendy modern farmhouse architectural style. Sited near the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a 1.8-acre lot, the spacious property is a literal stone’s throw from the $17.5 million mansion of fellow NBA star Ben Simmons.