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Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore Finalizing Deal for Around $1.5B to Buy T-Wolves

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2021

Former MLB player Alex Rodriguez arrives on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.   (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)
Win McNamee/Associated Press

MLB legend Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore are finalizing an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Timberwolves from Glen Taylor, who bought a majority stake of the NBA team in 1994, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported the price is expected to be "in the $1.5 billion range," and the deal will include the four-time WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium shared a statement from Rodriguez and Lore:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Alex Rodriguez and partner Marc Lore are nearing minority stakes with the Minnesota Timberwolves, with plan to take control of the franchise in two years under mentorship of Glen Taylor. Statement from A-Rod and Lore: https://t.co/nFDIhil5ra

Charania and The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Rodriguez and Lore signaled a desire to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota:

Jon Krawczynski @JonKrawczynski

@TheAthletic And @ShamsCharania sources saying that the plan is to keep the Wolves in Minnesota as well.

Rodriguez was unsuccessful in his last attempt to become the owner of a major sports franchise, losing out to Steven Cohen in the bidding for the New York Mets.

Taylor, who also owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, released a statement in early July saying he'd begun exploring potentially selling the basketball teams.

"I was recently approached by The Raine Group to discuss the future of our franchise," he wrote. "From the time I bought the team in 1994, I have always wanted what's best for our fans and will entertain opportunities on the evolution of the Timberwolves and Lynx ownership structure."

The 79-year-old Minnesota native, who Forbes estimates has a $2.9 billion net worth after more than four decades leading the Taylor Corporation, told Krawczynski and Charania he'd only entertain offers from those wanting to keep the Wolves in the state.

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"People have inquired who are interested and very interested and have the money, but they want to move a team," Taylor said. "They are not a candidate. We've made that very clear. In those terms, nothing has changed. We got a good team here. We think we have a good future and we want to do anything we can to keep it that way."

Along with those comments, a Minneapolis city spokesperson confirmed any party who breaks the lease to use the Target Center as the Timberwolves' home arena would owe $50 million, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune. That agreement runs through the 2034-35 NBA season.

The Wolves were founded in 1989 by the ownership tandem of Harvey Ratner and Marv Wolfenson. It marked the return of the NBA to Minnesota after the state lost the Lakers to Los Angeles in 1960.

Consistent success has been hard to come by for the Timberwolves, though. The franchise has advanced beyond the opening round of the playoffs just once—a trip to the 2004 Western Conference Finals, where it lost to the Lakers in six games.

Now the new ownership will attempt to buck that trend and push the team into championship contention.

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