Welcome back to the latest episode of “As the Glen Taylor Turns,” where we monitor all of the freshest rumors and news as it pertains to the (possible) sale of both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx.
While we still don’t have any firm information to hang our hat on (in terms of the sale actually being done), it was reported on Wednesday afternoon by our good friend Jon Krawczynski that a new name has entered the mix with a puncher’s chance at acquiring both franchises:
Sources: Former NBA player Arron Afflalo is leading a group that has engaged with Raine Group about buying the Timberwolves. No deal imminent, but a new suitor has entered the mix. Reporting with @ShamsCharania https://t.co/QD9aeeWAcO— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 9, 2020
Considering Afflalo’s name had popped up earlier this summer, this latest report isn’t all that shocking, but it is interesting nonetheless. As Jon and Shams reported, Afflalo earned approximately $60 million dollars during his playing days, which means he would need the financial backing of some deep-pocketed investors to come up with a competitive bid (which it now appears he has).
There were two key takeaways after reading the story from The Athletic:
- The report states “He (Afflalo) has an affinity for the Wolves organization, in large part because of the Saunders family. Flip Saunders was Afflalo’s first NBA coach with the Pistons and Afflalo has strong relationships with Wolves coach Ryan Saunders and president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, among others in the organization.”
- Jon and Shams also included this interesting note, “There will be other factors involved in Taylor’s evaluation of any candidate. Afflalo is from California and started living in Las Vegas after the 2011 lockout. Bloom is from New York but has a residence in Las Vegas as well. The Straus family is from the New York area.”
In terms of point #1, you could look at this two ways — Afflalo did indeed play for Flip Saunders and I’m sure has a close relationship with the family. With that said, you could also argue that this is yet another example of people saying the “correct” things in hopes of winning Glen over and eventually getting what they want (*Andrew Wiggins nods his head in agreement*).
As for point #2, this is the big one (at least in my opinion). The reference to “Bloom” is Jay Bloom, the executive chairman and founder of Pegasus Group Holdings, which develops renewable energy projects in the Mojave Desert in Arizona. As the story states, both Bloom and Afflalo live in Las Vegas, which after reading this immediately gave me major “Clay Bennett vibes.”
Does Afflalo’s group plan to purchase the team(s) and then move them to Las Vegas (which, outside of Seattle, is the trendiest name for potential landing spots for sports franchises)? Or do both of these men (Afflalo and Bloom) just like living in the desert and would honor Glen’s request to keep the franchises in Taylor’s home state?
Again, I should mention that this is just the latest report in a long line of stories relating to the potential sale of both the Wolves and Lynx. From my standpoint, it does seem like Glen is far more serious about selling than he was in the past, but I’m also starting to get those uneasy feelings that no option (as of yet) has been able to meet his demands in terms of keeping the teams where they are, which I would imagine is a deal breaker for Taylor. Time will tell on that, but for now it appears like a former NBA player (no, not that one) has officially found enough cash to enter the ring, and will officially be taking a swing sooner than later.
We will continue to monitor this developing story and provide news and updates as they become available. Until then, have a safe and enjoyable weekend!