While the league’s Disney World venture has gone smoothly thus far, with the league having twice reported that all of the players present have tested negative for COVID-19 while the games go on, sources say the National Basketball Players Association remains concerned about the safety concerns that would come with creating another location for the other eight teams to compete (Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota, Cleveland, Golden State). The NBPA, sources say, has been open to the idea of having in-market bubbles for individual team minicamps. So far, those eight teams have only been able to do 1-on-0 workouts in the facility with up to two coaches at a time.
The question becomes, what can Taylor do to make sure that happens? He has always been big on handshake agreements and the strength of a person’s word. But in a deal that league observers expect to soar past $1 billion and will chart the course for the franchise for years to come, the stakes are too big. The Wolves will likely look to include steep financial penalties for moving the team in any purchase agreement, sources told The Athletic. Exactly what that would look like, or how it would be enforced, will be determined through negotiation. As the process picks up — league sources say the Timberwolves have been inundated with interest since things became public last week — there are many factors to consider when examining the franchise’s long-term health in the Twin Cities. The tales of two other cities are worth examining as well.
As difficult as things have been with the Timberwolves of late, including just one playoff appearance since 2004 and home attendance that has plummeted near the bottom of the league, one league executive didn’t see the situation in a top 15 media market to be as dire as the one the Bucks faced. “For Milwaukee, the perfect storm to move was hitting,” the source said. “That storm is not hitting Minnesota right now. You’ve got 15 years on that lease. Minnesota’s a big market. I don’t see that same worry that people in Minnesota should have that people in Milwaukee had.”
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Sale?
The Athletic reached out to a handful of sources at the ownership level to gauge the appetite for addressing the Seattle market, and the return was split. While most viewed the market as teeming with possibility and deserving of an NBA team, the path to getting there was not as unanimous. Several sources said a preference would be to put an expansion team in Seattle, which would presumably bring a much larger startup fee than a team would be charged to relocate. But others have insisted that expansion has not really come up in league discussions, pointing to commissioner Adam Silver’s tepid public responses and a preference to table the issue until the next television rights deal is negotiated in 2025.
Orbach’s group would likely be committed to Minneapolis given his investment around Target Center and his brief history of coming to games here. Former Timberwolf Kevin Garnett has publicly stated that he wants to buy the team and keep it right where it is and The Associated Press reported that a group fronted by former NBA player Arron Afflalo would keep the team in Minnesota as well. There are at least five other legitimate bidders, sources said, which plays into Taylor’s hands. No matter the current state of an NBA franchise, there are only 30 of them in the world. The scarcity, and the status that comes from owning one, is intoxicating. If a group wants to get the upper hand on its competitors, agreeing to stronger legal frameworks to keep the team in Minnesota could be a way to do that.
The question becomes, what can Taylor do to make sure that happens? He has always been big on handshake agreements and the strength of a person’s word. But in a deal that league observers expect to soar past $1 billion and will chart the course for the franchise for years to come, the stakes are too big. The Wolves will likely look to include steep financial penalties for moving the team in any purchase agreement, sources told The Athletic. Exactly what that would look like, or how it would be enforced, will be determined through negotiation. As the process picks up — league sources say the Timberwolves have been inundated with interest since things became public last week — there are many factors to consider when examining the franchise’s long-term health in the Twin Cities. The tales of two other cities are worth examining as well.
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Sale?
As difficult as things have been with the Timberwolves of late, including just one playoff appearance since 2004 and home attendance that has plummeted near the bottom of the league, one league executive didn’t see the situation in a top 15 media market to be as dire as the one the Bucks faced. “For Milwaukee, the perfect storm to move was hitting,” the source said. “That storm is not hitting Minnesota right now. You’ve got 15 years on that lease. Minnesota’s a big market. I don’t see that same worry that people in Minnesota should have that people in Milwaukee had.”
The Athletic reached out to a handful of sources at the ownership level to gauge the appetite for addressing the Seattle market, and the return was split. While most viewed the market as teeming with possibility and deserving of an NBA team, the path to getting there was not as unanimous. Several sources said a preference would be to put an expansion team in Seattle, which would presumably bring a much larger startup fee than a team would be charged to relocate. But others have insisted that expansion has not really come up in league discussions, pointing to commissioner Adam Silver’s tepid public responses and a preference to table the issue until the next television rights deal is negotiated in 2025.
Orbach’s group would likely be committed to Minneapolis given his investment around Target Center and his brief history of coming to games here. Former Timberwolf Kevin Garnett has publicly stated that he wants to buy the team and keep it right where it is and The Associated Press reported that a group fronted by former NBA player Arron Afflalo would keep the team in Minnesota as well. There are at least five other legitimate bidders, sources said, which plays into Taylor’s hands. No matter the current state of an NBA franchise, there are only 30 of them in the world. The scarcity, and the status that comes from owning one, is intoxicating. If a group wants to get the upper hand on its competitors, agreeing to stronger legal frameworks to keep the team in Minnesota could be a way to do that.
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Sale?

Richard Jefferson on NBA player hotline: 'This is not snitching'

Richard Jefferson: NBA player hotline isn’t snitching – it’s necessary. “Karl-Anthony Towns’ mom passed away. There are people passing away all around this country. This is not snitching if somebody is risking everyone’s health and safety. It is not snitching if someone’s risking billions of dollars by going outside the bubble to do something that they are not supposed to do. That’s not snitching. That is if you see something, say something. The fact that they let you do it anonymously, that makes it even better.”
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Facundo Campazzo on radar for Minnesota, Dallas

Facundo Campazzo has been set on leaving for the NBA and the Argentinian guard has been on the radar of multiple teams including Minnesota and Dallas. More interest coming from the former, according to Carlos Sanchez Blas. In case he agrees for an NBA move, Real Madrid would have to be paid six million dollars per the contract’s buy-out clause in order for Campazzo to complete the deal.
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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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This would allow the Charlotte Hornets and seven other teams not at Disney’s campus dramatically more activity than currently allowed. The proposal under discussion — which has not yet been approved by the league or the players union — would include: ▪ A week of practice at individual teams’ home facilities, starting the second week of August. ▪ Possibly two weeks of group workouts hosted by two teams not in the restart. Those cities have not yet been finalized. Teams traveling would likely be contingent on the players union approving teams scrimmaging each other.
Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak and the other seven general managers affected have lobbied hard over the past month for more practice time. For now, individual players can work with up to two coaches on skills development. However, players can’t work out against each other in a team facility.

Kevin Garnett willing to invest $200 million in Wolves

Word within basketball circles is that Kevin Garnett’s group that wants to buy the Timberwolves from Glen Taylor includes two billionaires from California and another from Florida. Garnett’s investment is said to be $200 million, and he would head the basketball operation with authority to name the GM and coach. Asking price is expected to be about $1.2 billion, which also includes the Lynx. Garnett also was part of a group that tried to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle.
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According to an NBA source, the only hesitation with Thibodeau was whether his communication skills that have worked in the past still work with millennial players. Sources in Minnesota contend Thibodeau did not connect well enough with some of the Wolves’ younger stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.
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.”
Storyline: Minnesota Timberwolves Sale?
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.’ ”

Ownership group led by Arron Afflalo bidding to buy Wolves

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.
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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.
Now Taylor is again considering selling the team, but the feeling is much different this time. He is concerned about his other businesses that have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is confident that with CEO Ethan Casson, president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and coach Ryan Saunders leading the way, the Timberwolves’ basketball and business operations are on stable footing for the first time in years. And at 79 years old, the man who rescued the Wolves from extinction back in 1994 wants to make sure his fiscal house is in order so he doesn’t put any undue pressure on his family after he is gone.
Perhaps for the first time in 26 years at the helm of the franchise, Glen Taylor appears to be comfortable with the idea of letting go of something he has loved for so long. “I think I put a really good team together with the Timberwolves,” Taylor told The Athletic on Tuesday, referring to the leadership group he has in place. “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.”
Storyline: Glen Taylor Selling Timberwolves?
And while his motivation for selling the team appears to be as genuine as ever, one thing is unchanged: Taylor wants to make sure that whoever buys the team will keep it in Minnesota. “Everybody’s been told it has to stay in Minnesota,” Taylor said. Several groups have emerged as interested suitors, including franchise legend Kevin Garnett, who leaped out publicly on Tuesday to state his long-held desire to be a part of the Wolves ownership and keep the team in Minneapolis.
The Wilf family, which owns the Vikings, was approached several months ago by a search firm looking for interested buyers, sources told The Athletic. Zygi and Mark Wilf have seen their initial $600 million investment explode with the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, and a new television deal looming around the corner. The Wilfs are popular in the Twin Cities for their willingness to spend on the roster and a low-key public presence.
Storyline: Glen Taylor Selling Timberwolves?
The Wilfs had initial discussions with the search firm, but have yet to engage with the Timberwolves directly and there are no active talks, sources said. The Wilfs have a deep respect for the Twin Cities sports scene and want to see the Wolves remain in Minnesota, sources said, but they have not gone down that path on their own yet. Things could always change, but for the moment, the Wilfs are on the sideline. Their involvement, presumably, would also satisfy Taylor’s desires to keep the team in Minnesota.

Glen Taylor seeking north of $1 billion for Timberwolves

Meyer Orbach, a Wolves minority owner who has steadily amassed more and more shares of the team and is a highly visible member of the ownership group at home and on the road, is another name to watch on the list of potential new owners. Several other groups are said to be involved, though Taylor has declined to name them or speak on an expected asking price. Sources have told The Athletic that Taylor is seeking north of $1 billion. A bidding war could push the price much higher.
Whatever the truth is, Garnett dug in. Garnett still remembered Taylor accusing him of “tanking it” at the end of the 2006-07 season, when he sat out the final five games of a lost season. So in his eyes, Taylor had crossed him twice. And the player’s mindset never let go. Hold on to those grudges. It was keeping with his mentality as a player. Hold on to those grudges and use them as fuel when the next battle comes around the corner.
Garnett has been working feverishly to put together a group of investors to help him buy the team, sources told The Athletic. He has long preferred to get into the ownership side rather than coaching, saying he doesn’t have the patience required for that job. In his last days with the Wolves, Garnett would tell anyone who would listen about his desires to help run a franchise and make the big decisions that can influence a team’s trajectory. Exactly what role Garnett would play in any potential ownership group is not immediately known.

Wilf family interested in buying Timberwolves

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.
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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.