According to a report from Scott Soshnick of Sportico, long-time Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has hired The Raine Group to explore a sale of the franchise.
BREAKING: @Sportico Exclusive: @Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has hired Raine to explore a sale of the #NBA franchise. Sources say offers have already been made:https://t.co/PTHN7NBKq0 #Sportsbiz pic.twitter.com/CWaUjvKWmb— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) July 21, 2020
Taylor, purchased the franchise for $88.5 million in 1994. He is also the primary stakeholder of the Minnesota Lynx, which he purchased in 1999.
Through a statement to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, Taylor, a native Minnesotan, has made it clear that any potential candidate must be committed to keeping the Timberwolves in Minnesota.
Glen Taylor to @TheAthleticMIN on potential Wolves sale:— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) July 21, 2020
"People have inquired who are interested but they want to move the team. They are not a candidate. We’ve made that very clear."
There is more, too. Our beloved Kevin Garnett is part of one of the groups vying to purchase the franchise, per his Instagram story.
Kevin Garnett is among one of the groups attempting to purchase the Timberwolves.— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) July 21, 2020
(h/t @Tyus_Jones_Stan). pic.twitter.com/Zu65xGcwSf
The Athletic’s Shams Charania has confirmed this, as well.
NBA/Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett and a group of investors are seriously interested in and exploring bid for Minnesota T’Wolves from Glen Taylor, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2020
As of February, 2020, the Timberwolves held a valuation of an estimated $1.375 billion, according to Forbes, which ranks 28th in the NBA. The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies are 29th and 30th, respectively.
Over the past five seasons, Minnesota has ranked 29th, 29th, 21st, 28th, and 30th in attendance, while finishing last in the Northwest Division in four of those five seasons.
In Taylor’s 26 seasons as controlling owner, the team has a record of 875-1191 (42.4% winning percentage) and has made the playoffs nine times, but has only advanced past the first round once.
In that same time frame, the team has had 10 different head coaches at the helm.
There has been no official statement from the team at this time. This is a developing story that we will continue to follow as more information is made available.
According to The Athletic, ownership of the Minnesota Lynx would also be included in the purchase of the Timberwolves:
Glen Taylor says he thinks the Timberwolves and Lynx will remain under one house should a sale happen.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) July 21, 2020
"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."
Well, well, well... it looks like another familiar face has joined the bidding war:
The Wilf family that owns the Minnesota Vikings has emerged a serious candidate to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2020
According to Schefter’s report, the Wilf family appears to be a separate group bidding for Glen Taylor’s prized asset, in addition to the group led by Kevin Garnett as well as another group that includes New York real estate developer Meyer Orbach (remember him?)
Both franchises — the Wolves and the Lynx — released a statement on Tuesday night from Glen Taylor that said “I was recently approached by the Raine Group to discuss the future of our franchise. From the time I bought the team in 1994, I have always wanted what’s best for our fans and will entertain the opportunities on the evolution of the Timberwolves and Lynx ownership structure.”
In other words — this is definitely happening (at least in my opinion). As more news continues to come out, we will continue to update you on any and all things related to the possible sale.