The Timberwolves are likely to have new owners soon, but that doesn’t mean the old regime is going anywhere anytime soon.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor signed an exclusive letter of intent to purchase the Timberwolves and Lynx franchises with former big league baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce maven Marc Lore, confirmed a team spokesman on Saturday.
According to reports from ESPN and Athletic, Taylor and the Lore / Rodriguez team have reportedly agreed a $ 1.5 billion valuation for the franchise. The two sides are now entering a 30-day negotiation window.
Taylor said Rodriguez and Lore will be in Minneapolis on Monday when they get a tour of the facilities and meet with team members. They then have 30 days to compile the required documentation and submit it to the NBA. The league will then go through these records and the hope is that they will then be submitted to the Board of Governors for approval.
Taylor bought the NBA franchise for $ 88 million in 1994 and the WNBA’s Lynx in 1999.
Glen Taylor, team owner for Minnesota Timberwolves, speaks in Minneapolis on June 6, 2014. (AP Photo / Ann Heisenfelt)
Taylor, who turns 80 on April 20, has historically considered whether or not to sell the franchise, but this deal seems to be nearing the finish line.
“We look forward to entering this stage of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come, ”Rodriguez and Lore said in a statement to ESPN and The Athletic. « We are very excited about the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization, the talented team and their incredible fans. »
Taylor recently met with five potential buyer groups, and his communications with Rodriguez and Lore only began last week. They immediately sold Taylor for their vision.
Taylor enjoyed the way they talked about working with and treating their employees. He liked that they were sharp and competitive people.
Rodriguez retired from baseball in 2016 after scoring 3,115 hits and 696 home races in a career that began in 1994 – although those successes have been clouded in the minds of many by Rodriguez’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.
According to Spotrac, Rodriguez made $ 437 million in on-site career income. Since retiring, Rodriguez has worked primarily on television, from baseball analyst to guest judge at Shark Tank.
Lore has served as President and CEO of several e-commerce companies, from Jet.com to Quidsi. Most recently, he was President and CEO of Walmart US eCommerce. He reportedly left that position on a full-time basis in January, although he reportedly continues to advise the company.
In January Lore announced to CNBC that his next project was to build a « City of the Future » with a higher quality of life.
Marc Lore, CEO of Jet.com, speaks during an interview in Hoboken, New Jersey (AP Photo / Seth Wenig).
« This is an opportunity to test a new model for society, and just like one For typical startups, it’s the easiest way to do it on a clean board, « the native New Yorker told CNBC. « Trying to change the country as it exists today would be much more difficult. »
The team said the deal structure « will initially include a limited partnership with a way of controlling ownership of the organization. »
Taylor was intrigued by Rodriguez’s athletic background and Lore’s technological history, which he thought could help in areas like ticketing.
« They just seemed to have the things I was looking for, » said Taylor. « I enjoyed what they had to say, I believed in what they had to say, and it seems like ideal people to put the franchise in their hands. »
Taylor was also excited about the offer to continue the team for the next few years before Rodriguez and Lore take control in 2023. Until then, the two partners can learn under the current owner of the wolves. Taylor can get her used to working with the NBA, meeting other owners, and attending meetings. They can also collaborate on ideas and get into the process of running a sports organization before taking sole responsibility.
« I look forward to the opportunity to work with these people, » said Taylor. « I think it will just be a pleasure to do that and I am happy about it. My inner feeling is happiness because I enjoy teaching, I enjoy working with people, and this is just another opportunity to work with good people. »
This was one of many things that were important to him as he identified the organization’s next owner group.
« I’ve had it for so long, it’s becoming your baby, so to speak, and you want the caretakers to treat it as such, » said Taylor. “My feeling is really a feeling of happiness. I just think this will work. »
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