While the dust may have finally settled from the recent 2020 NBA Lottery, the news surrounding the potential sale of both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx surely has NOT slowed down, at least according to the latest reports:
BREAKING: @Sportico Exclusive: @Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is exploring a purchase of the @Timberwolves, sources say#SportsBiz // #NBAPlayoffs// #NBA https://t.co/5WZWDSc5SC— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) September 3, 2020
As has been the case in the past when new names emerge as potential successors to Glen Taylor, there’s a lot to digest here. For starters, a basic Google search of any of these top names (including Jimmy Haslam) comes with a laundry list of what I would deem “sketchy” business practices, but in the same breath I am not naive that most billionaires (not all of course) reach that extreme level of wealth while accumulating at least a few skeletons in his or her closet (that’s a much larger topic for another day).
But as it pertains specifically to Haslam — yuck (at least in my opinion). His tenure running the Cleveland Browns has been about as successful as Glen Taylor’s tenure running the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Browns have not had a winning season since Haslam took over ownership back in 2012, so it’s fair to say that if he does indeed take over for Glen, he won’t be bringing the “How to Be Successful in Professional Sports” handbook to Mayo Clinic Square.
With all of that said, it’s important to parse through the latest reporting and recognize that while Haslam is the latest big name to enter the ring, an argument can be made that this is more exploratory than anything else (if there’s one thing uber rich people love more than anything, it’s using their wealth to acquire assets to become even more rich). Also, it’s probably fair to assume (based off of nothing but my own optimism and borderline stupidity), that a Haslam ownership group would probably be a positive sign in terms of both the Wolves and Lynx remaining in Minnesota (again, that’s just a gut feeling more than anything).
The last nugget of information I found to be somewhat eye-opening was the report from Sportico that states “Taylor is seeking at least $1.2 billion for the franchise.” That price clearly reflects just the price of the Timberwolves, but it’s interesting nonetheless after Forbes reported earlier this spring that the team was valued at approximately $1.375 billion. Granted, a few things have happened in this country since then that “could” point to NBA franchise values taking a dip, but it could also signal that Glen is indeed willing to take less money in return for some sort of agreement that keeps the franchise(s) in Minneapolis (I’ll let the lawyers in our community explain that one).
As always, we will continue to monitor this developing story and provide news and updates as they become available. Until then, have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!