Sunday December 3, 2023

Opening for Timberwolves Relocation Sparks Lawsuit

  • Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore agreed to purchase the Timberwolves, Lynx for $1.5 billion on May 13.
  • Lawsuit filed by co-owner alleges current owner Glen Taylor is in breach of contract, seeks $300 million in damages.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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A federal lawsuit filed over the pending sale of the Minnesota Timberwolves claims there’s nothing stopping prospective new owners Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore from relocating the franchise.

Meyer Orbach, who owns 17% of the Timberwolves and Lynx, filed the complaint against current owner Glen Taylor in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Wednesday.

Orbach, alleging Taylor is in breach of contract, seeks an injunction to pause the sale from moving forward and damages in excess of $300 million

The $1.5 billion sale of the two teams was first reported by Front Office Sports on May 13. ESPN was the first outlet to report the lawsuit had been filed.

In multiple interviews, Taylor said terms of the sale would include a provision to keep the Timberwolves in Minneapolis amid speculation the franchise could relocate to Seattle, Las Vegas, or elsewhere.

  • The sales agreement — part of another court filing obtained by Front Office Sports — does not have any such language.
  • Rodriguez and Lore “will have unfettered discretion to move the Timberwolves and Lynx outside of Minnesota,” the lawsuit stated.

The sale still needs the approval of the NBA’s Board of Governors, too.

Rodriguez and Lore aren’t scheduled to have full control of the team until December 2023, although the sales agreement states they have the option to purchase Taylor’s remaining stake “at any time” after the close of the sale.

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