Glen Taylor has held a majority ownership stake of the Minnesota Timberwolves since 1994 and the Minnesota Lynx since 2002.
But in 2020, that might be coming to an end.
On Tuesday afternoon, rumors surrounding Taylor and his future as majority owner of the Wolves and Lynx organization quickly spread after Sportico reported Taylor is looking into selling his stake in the organization.
Sportico reported that Taylor has retained The Raine Group to look into potential suitors to take over his ownership role, adding a deal could be completed within a month and the 79-year-old Taylor is seeking “at least $1.2 billion” for his stake.
Shortly after, Taylor confirmed those reports to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, adding everybody who has expressed interest in making a deal has been told the organization has to stay in Minnesota.
Although Taylor has explored ideas of selling his majority ownership role in the past, perhaps this time around things could be different. And the fact that he is now working with The Raine Group makes this all much more interesting.
NO PLANS TO LEAVE MINNESOTA
Taylor made clear on Tuesday in that the Wolves and Lynx will have to remain in Minnesota if a new majority owner took over.
“People have inquired who are interested, and very interested and have the money, but they want to move a team,” Taylor told The Athletic. “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.”
Taylor bought the Wolves in 1994 and saved the franchise from moving out of Minnesota, later becoming operating owner of the Lynx from 1999-2002 before taking over as majority owner of the WNBA team in 2002.
According to The Athletic, Taylor envisions both the NBA and WNBA franchise remaining under one roof and as one organization should he sell the team, making this a package deal of both teams.
In an interview with Mike Max on WCCO Radio on Tuesday evening, Taylor added he wants someone to take over the team who has a fondness for the state of Minnesota and the Twin Cities area.
“We did have some families that approached the group saying they would be very interested and would be willing to pay more, but we want to move them,” Taylor told WCCO. “We told them we wouldn’t even consider those offers. It’s got to be someone who is committed to Minnesota and committed to building the team.”
WHO COULD PURCHASE THE ORGANIZATION?
Taylor told WCCO Radio that he was approached by The Raine Group recently with a few different groups interested in taking over as majority owners of the organization.
Shortly after the news broke on Tuesday, one notable name emerged as a potential suitor within a group seriously looking to take over the majority ownership stake: Wolves icon and Hall of Fame player, Kevin Garnett.
For a person who generally prefers to be out of the spotlight and out of the public eye, Garnett took to both Instagram and Twitter on Tuesday expressing his strong interest in buying the organization from Taylor.
Garnett has long expressed interest in being a part of a group that buys out Taylor’s stake in the organization, and the two have publicly spoken about their frustrations with each other over the last few years. Most recently, Garnett told The Athletic he didn’t want “any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. … I don’t do business with snakes.”
Taylor said Tuesday he has heard Garnett could be involved in a potential buyer of his ownership share, but added “let’s not get ahead of ourselves” when talking about working with a team including Garnett as that team works to put an official bid together.
“I have heard that he is (involved). I have not talked to Kevin,” Taylor told WCCO Radio. “I haven’t heard anything officially.”
Outside of Garnett, another interesting group has emerged as a serious candidate to buy the organization, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter reported Tuesday night that the Wilf family — led by brothers Zygi and Mark Wilf — who have owned the Minnesota Vikings since 2005, are also considering making a bid to Taylor.
This move could make the most sense from Taylor’s perspective, since the Wilf family has a proven track record of being able to own a professional franchise while also sharing a similar affection for Minnesota and its fan base.
A new ownership group including Garnett or the Wilf family could both be great scenarios for the Wolves, Lynx and their fan bases. Not only would it continue to create interest in both franchises, but either group could be the type of ownership team Taylor is looking for to continue to build the organization and, more importantly, keep it in Minnesota for years to come.
This development still has a long way to go, it seems, but one thing is for certain in that Taylor is once again exploring selling his majority ownership stake with the Wolves and Lynx organization. This time around, that consideration appears more serious than ever with an eager Wolves legend and some nearby neighbors across town, among others, waiting for the opportunity to take over.