The NBA Board of Governors reportedly approved Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez as limited partners in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx franchises Tuesday.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, which is the first step in a multiyear process that will see Lore and Rodriguez take over the two franchises.
The former MLB star and former Walmart e-commerce CEO agreed in April to buy the Timberwolves and Lynx from Glen Taylor for $1.5 billion. Taylor will operate the franchise until 2023, with Lore and Rodriguez slowly transitioning to majority governorship.
"They've asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made," Taylor told Dave Campbell of the Associated Press. "I would enjoy that. I love teaching people. These are a couple of very bright guys, and I think it could be helpful to the club and I think I could be helpful to them so that they feel confident once they take over 100 percent."
Rodriguez vowed last month to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota. There had been some speculation about a potential move to Seattle, where Rodriguez spent his first seven MLB seasons. The city of Seattle is widely viewed as the obvious next choice for expansion or a relocated NBA franchise.
Approval from the Board of Governors is largely a rubber-stamping process; ownership agreements are rarely (if ever) nixed on a league level.
A legal challenge of the sale from minority governors was denied in court earlier this month, paving the way for the NBA approval.