Report: Arron Afflalo Leading Investment Group Seeking to Purchase Timberwolves

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2020

Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo (4) adjusts his arm sleeve after entering the game during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Arron Afflalo is looking to make a return to the NBA, though not as a player.

According to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania, Afflalo is leading an investment group that is in discussions to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, "partnering with entrepreneur Jay Bloom and several other deep-pocketed investors to make a run at buying the team."

Afflalo, 34, spent 11 seasons in the NBA as a player with the Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings, averaging 10.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in his career. 

Although Afflalo never played for the Wolves, Krawczynski and Charania reported he "has an affinity for the Wolves organization, in large part because of the Saunders family. Flip Saunders was Afflalo's first NBA coach with the Pistons, and Afflalo has strong relationships with Wolves coach Ryan Saunders and president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, among others in the organization."

While Afflalo's investment group "has not yet met with [Wolves governor Glen Taylor] or any representatives of the Timberwolves for advanced discussions," the group is reportedly "confident it has the financial means and long-term vision for talks to progress to that point, per Krawczynski and Charania.

Afflalo's group will have competition, however, as former Memphis Grizzlies minority governor Daniel Straus and his investment group are also interested in purchasing the teams. Straus and Taylor previously agreed to a 30-day exclusive negotiating agreement, though they didn't reach a deal before that agreement expired. 

However, the Straus Group is "moving forward with hopes of finalizing a purchase this month," per Krawczynski and Charania, and Taylor "has an offer in hand" from them. 

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Regardless of who buys the teams, Taylor has insisted that the new governors make a commitment to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota.