Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez’s timetable to become the next principal owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx may need an extension.
That’s according to longtime majority owner Glen Taylor. Taylor said on the latest episode of The Scoop podcast that Lore and Rodriguez will likely utilize their extension option on their last payment needed to become the majority owners of the clubs. The incoming owners have until the end of December to exercise a call option, or state their intention to make their next payment and have the next 60 to 90 days to close, according to a lawsuit filing that outlines details of the unique layaway deal.
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“I think they’ll push back [the deadline],” Taylor said. “I ask them if they’re set and if they got everything and they say they do, so I take them for their word. It doesn’t make much difference to me if it’s December, March or July. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. We’re pretty well set for this year.”
Lore and Rodriguez own 40% of the team after closing on a second payment earlier this year. The third payment is slated to push their interest to 80%, while the fourth payment option being 20% at the end of 2024, according to the document. Taylor is expected to retain a minority share in the team.
“Right now, I’m expected to run the team, and I do,” Taylor said on the podcast. “I work with the coach, [general manager] Tim Connelly and the businesspeople. That’s my responsibility, since I still have most of the ownership. When [Lore and Rodriguez] get in a position to take over those responsibilities within the next year, then I’ll still be part of the ownership [group], but we’ll see how much I participate.”
Timberwolves and reps for Lore and A-Rod Corp, Rodriguez’s company, did not respond to a request for comment. The NBA declined to make an immediate comment.
Taylor, who bought the teams for $94 million in 1994, agreed to sell the franchises to Lore and Rodriguez for $1.5 billion in 2021. Sports investors using a series of payments to purchase a majority stake isn’t entirely uncommon. A group led by former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam purchased the Nashville Predators last year with three separate payments in a deal that later valued the team at about $875 million.
However, orchestrating a deal like the Timberwolves’ arrangement that spans multiple years can be problematic, especially as the average valuation of an NBA team has grown considerably in just two years since the original agreement was struck.
It’s easy to think the Timberwolves would sell for more if they hit the open market after Mat Ishbia bought the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury for a record $4 billion earlier this year. Sportico valued the Timberwolves at $1.7 billion in its latest NBA valuations.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves and forward Jaden McDaniels agreed to a $136 million contract extension on Monday. The move placed the Timberwolves over the luxury tax for the first time in almost 20 years, with the club already carrying hefty contracts for stars Anthony Edwards and Karl Anthony Towns.
Lore, an e-commerce entrepreneur, and Rodriguez, the former MLB star, face the responsibility of not only closing on their current transition agreement but may have to absorb future luxury tax hits while mulling the next step for the 33-year-old Target Center.
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