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Timberwolves Have Reportedly Received 'Tepid' Offers in Attempt to Sell Team

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2021

FILE - In this April 11, 2017, file photo, the new Minnesota Timberwolves logo is unveiled on the scoreboard during halftime of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves are getting into the jersey advertisement game with a Fitbit patch in a three-year deal. The Timberwolves announced the marketing collaboration for the team's first jersey patch on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Timberwolves governor Glen Taylor has not had much success in his attempt to sell the team.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Taylor has only received "tepid" offers since announcing his intent to sell the team in June 2020.

The T-Wolves, who qualified for the playoffs just once in the previous 16 years entering the 2020-21 season, are off to another slow start at 2-4, which is tied for last place in the Western Conference.

Windhorst noted that Taylor is looking to get more than the valuation of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion that has been placed on the team.

A group led by former minority owner Daniel Straus has made the best offer and remains the favorite to purchase the franchise, but Straus reportedly changed his initial offer when it became clear that no fans would be able to attend games to start the 2020-21 season. It remains uncertain if fans will be permitted to be in the stands at any point this season.

With a lack of fans and fewer games than usual, the NBA has experienced a significant drop in revenue. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, revenue fell by 10 percent to $8.3 billion last season.

One possibility that has reportedly been discussed to make up for that loss in revenue is expansion to include more teams.

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Waiting for expansion could be one way for Taylor to get more for the Timberwolves, but assuming he wants to sell the team sooner rather than later, another option would be to sell it to buyers who intend to relocate the franchise.

As of now, Taylor would likely have to settle for a sale price of $1.5 million or less,  which would be down from the $1.66 billion sale price of the Utah Jazz last month.

Taylor has a few things working against him in the pandemic, such as being in one of the NBA's less-desirable markets and having a team that hasn't enjoyed much on-court success.

The Timberwolves do have some exciting pieces in place, however, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and 2020 No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Edwards.

Minnesota has a chance to be a competitive and fun team for many years to come if that core learns to play and win together, but it remains to be seen if the talented players will be a good fit as a group.

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