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Timberwolves News & Notes: Glen Taylor, Josh Okogie, and... Nikola Pekovic?

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Let’s catch up on some of the latest Timberwolves news and notes.

San Antonio Spurs v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t been blown out in over 24 hours, which is reason enough to celebrate on the first official Tuesday of 2021. After a disappointing home stand against the Wizards and Nuggets, the Wolves are back on the road for two tough contests against Northwest Division foes — Nuggets and Blazers — before returning home for an extended homestand which includes two games against both the Spurs and Grizzlies.

We’ll have more on those matchups in upcoming game previews and game recaps, but for now let’s quickly scan around the Internet to see what’s cooking as it pertains to our *favorite* professional basketball team.

Cold Lasagna?

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard any concrete update on the potential of Glen Taylor selling both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. The last we heard, Papa Glen was still fielding offers and trying to secure a potential buyer who would go full Andrew Wiggins and promise to keep the team in downtown Minneapolis.

Early Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that efforts to locate a potential heir to Mr. Taylor’s throne are still ongoing, and that league officials and current owners are monitoring the “drawn-out sales process” as an indicator for franchise value health.

As you probably know, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently made public remarks that the league may very well look into possible expansion plans once again, and the sale of the Timberwolves could go a long way in shaping how much new teams possibly go for (as well as where those new expansion teams may call home).

But back to the Timberwolves for a second — this excerpt was probably the most interesting part of the ESPN+ article as it pertains to a potential Minnesota sale:

After putting the Wolves on the market in both 2012 and 2015 only to back out each time, longtime owner Glen Taylor announced again in July 2020 that he was selling the team. It has not been a brisk process as firm offers have been tepid, sources said.

Taylor, 79, has gotten as far as a term sheet with a group led by Daniel Straus, a New Jersey-based health care magnate and former Memphis Grizzlies minority owner, but the sides haven’t been able to finish the deal. They’re still talking, sources said, and Straus remains the favorite to get the team, but Taylor’s history of pulling the team off the market leaves doubt.

Valuations put the Wolves in the $1.3-1.5 billion range including debt, sources said, less than what Taylor was hoping to fetch. Straus, sources said, revised his offer after it was clear fans would not be in arenas en masse this season, assuring steeper short-term losses.

“I think Glen was hoping team values were still going up,” one owner said. “I think we’re finding out they may not be right now.”

Again, none of this is that far off from what local media members like Jon Krawczynski or Darren Wolfson have reported, but it’s still interesting nonetheless to see that a potential sale is still on Glen’s radar (whether or not he pulls the trigger here is an entirely different conversation).

Regardless of what happens in Minnesota, a simple reading of the tea leaves does make it very apparent that the NBA is zeroing in on some sort of expansion going forward. The league is ripe with talent and there are still premier cities — most notably Seattle and Las Vegas — where a NBA franchise makes too much sense. Will one of those places be the new home of the Timberwolves and Lynx? Or will Glen be able to find the right person to keep his investment in his home state for decades to come? Either way, it’s definitely worth monitoring this situation going forward.

Moons Over Josh’s Hammy

While we continue to wait patiently for an update on Karl-Anthony Towns’ wrist injury that he sustained during the win in Salt Lake City, Wolves fans did get a bit of positive news Monday as it pertains to another Minnesota starter:

Full disclosure: this doesn’t mean that Josh (or Jaylen) will make their return tonight in Denver, but it’s at least a step in the right direction for two players who can definitely give their team a shot in the arm while KAT is on the shelf.

While getting constantly stomped by opponent’s has been zero fun to watch and/or write about, I truly hope the team gives Josh ample time to recover from that hamstring strain as to prevent any future damage/reoccurring injuries going forward. When he does return though, I expect him to slot right back into the starting lineup and *hopefully* give the team a much needed boost on the defensive end as well as the “I Give A Damn” department.

Meat Your New Leader

As the current Timberwolves roster continues to search for answers with their premier center on the injury report, another former Minnesota big man has been popping in and out of our Twitter timelines over the last few months.

First, there was this very serious and concerning report back in October about Nikola Pekovic being admitted to the hospital for complications related to COVID-19:

It has since been reported that Big Pek is doing much better and is out of the hospital, which is great news for not only him and his family, but also... the Montenegrin Basketball Association?

All credit on this discovery goes to @TrentonHassles on Twitter, but it appears as if the former Wolves center has pivoted from some less than ideal streams of revenue into something more structured and secure (and legal!):

As Dnevne novine reported, Pekovic will replace Veselin Barovic, who took office in early January 2019.

Danilo Mitrovic, the long - time director of the Montenegrin national team, will retire together with Barovic.

Pekovic has been retired from playing since 2016, after which he was president of Partizan for almost two years.

He resigned in 2017, and since exactly a year ago he has been the team manager of the senior national team of Montenegro.

A new function came very quickly, the largest when it comes to running the National Basketball Association.

Tl;dr — Pek is apparently the new President of the Montenegrin Basketball Association. He’s dabbled with management/ownership of professional teams since retiring a few years ago, but it looks like The Godfather has finally elevated himself to the highest position the MBA has to offer, which should put an end to the constant speculation of “where in the world is Nikola Pekovic?”