Glen Taylor Rumors
Marc Lore, 49, and Rodriguez plan to spend $1.5 billion to buy the Timberwolves and Lynx from owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune. The two have a relationship beyond the Timberwolves deal. Lore and Rodriguez also were in the bidding last year to buy the New York Mets, but were eventually outbid by hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. Lore is special adviser to Slam Corp., a blank check company formed by Rodriguez and Himanshu Gulati, the founder and chairman of Antara Capital. Slam Corp. announced a $500 million pricing for its initial public offering in February and is looking to merge with a startup in the sports, media or health and wellness industry.
“The real agreement is with the NBA. The NBA will make the decision if somebody’s going to move or not move,” Taylor said. “The NBA will not approve of the Timberwolves moving from here to Seattle. It’s in the NBA’s interest that in Seattle, that a new team is formed. It’s an economic decision that’s in the interest of all of the owners.” Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, said the money new owners could earn for the league with an expansion fee could be upwards of $2 billion. He also said the new owners “are not going to pay” $1.5 billion to buy the Wolves then another $2 billion or so to move the team.
Owners would also have to approve vacating a media market that is ranked 14th in the country, according to the 2020-21 Nielsen rankings. People like to view the Twin Cities as some frozen outpost in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a bigger market than the likes of Detroit, Denver and Miami. Seattle is 12th. And as poorly as things have gone with attendance and competitiveness for the Wolves, sources say that the team’s financials are not in terrible shape, another sign that NBA basketball is more than viable in this market. Now the Wolves need to give fans something to cheer about. Silver told Nichols that expansion is not a “front burner” issue, but the fact that it is being openly acknowledged is notable for the Wolves’ future. And that is where the succession plan becomes important. The plan is for Taylor to remain in control for another 2 1/2 years. By the time Lore and Rodriguez are preparing to accept a transfer of power, that burner could be heating up.
Even though the plan is for Lore and Rodriguez to begin as limited partners, sources said they will still have significant influence in the operations on the basketball and business sides of the operation. Finch said before the game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night that he has yet to speak with Rodriguez or Lore, but did have what he deemed an encouraging conversation with Taylor on Sunday morning. “He was very assuring that the transition would be smooth and that it’s his intention to give everybody the best chance for success here,” Finch said, “and he’s excited about the opportunities that are ahead and we talked about our team and as it stands right now.”
Dane Moore: Chris Finch says he has had “no contact with the new owners” — but said he has talked with Glen Taylor about the move. Finch says, he is “excited about a dynamic, new ownership group” — and that he feels Alex Rodriguez can bring “sex appeal to the organization and city”.