As if winning the 2020 NBA Lottery wasn’t enough to keep us all going this summer, a late breaking Shams-grenade landed in our laps late Monday evening:
Story on @TheAthleticNBA: Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor in advanced talks to sell the franchises to group led by former Memphis Grizzlies minority owner Daniel E. Straus, sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. https://t.co/KrVWUO1i4i— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 25, 2020
First and foremost, massive credit to both Shams Charania and our own Jon Krawczynski for excellent reporting here. With that said, there’s a ton to digest from this latest report, so let’s jump right into it:
- The fact that Glen and Daniel Straus had already entered into an “exclusive negotiating agreement” signals that this deal may be much closer to the finish line than one would suspect. The report did go on to say that this agreement expired recently, but our friend Doogie Wolfson reported last week that Straus had recently made a visit to Minneapolis, which suggests those negotiations were indeed ongoing.
- The news from Shams and Jon also states that Kevin Garnett has not had formal discussions with Glen to this point, and that as of now he is not involved with the Straus ownership group. While this may seem disappointing on the surface, it also comes as no surprise (at least to me) as it would have taken some serious financial backers to assist KG in realistically sitting at the negotiation table.
- The biggest nugget of information obviously centers around this statement from sources directly tied to the negotiation:
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.
You can take this one of two ways really — if you like the Timberwolves and Lynx, the glass-half full version here is that all indications are that Straus would honor Glen’s request and keep both franchises in Minneapolis.
On the flip side, I have still yet to see firm, concrete evidence that new ownership would legally have to honor such a request, and before you bring up the current lease with the Target Center, please remember that the rumored $50 million dollar fee to break said lease is absolute chump change to a guy like Daniel Straus. With that in mind, Shams and Jon did go on to say the following:
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.
Of course, that could all be posturing as well, but for now it seems like encouraging news to support the idea of keeping both teams in their current market.
Regardless of how this ALL plays out, the report Monday night from Shams and Jon support what many of us have been hearing recently when you talk to people around the organizations — Glen wants to get a deal done, and this is likely to happen much sooner than I think we first expected.
We’ll continue to monitor any and all updates related to the sale. Until then, enjoy the playoffs!