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Sunday, May 26, 2024

T-Wolves’ Playoff Start Is Clouded by a Messy Ownership Dispute

  • Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore remain minority owners of the franchise.
  • Majority owner Glen Taylor has decided to retain control of the team.
Alex Rodriguez, Anthony Towns
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves are entering the NBA playoffs after the franchise’s best regular season in two decades. You’d need to go back to 2004, when Kevin Garnett led Minnesota to 58 wins and then to the Western Conference Finals, to find a T-Wolves team this successful. On Saturday, fans will get to see Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and the Suns come to town to tip off one of the best matchups in the first round. 

Life is good in Minnesota, right?

It should be. But there’s one not-so-behind-the-scenes issue clouding the Timberwolves this postseason: No one knows who the team’s owner is going to be this time next year. The future of the franchise looks like it will be decided in arbitration after majority owner Glen Taylor took Minnesota off the market just weeks ago, thwarting the planned transfer of control to current minority owners Alex Rodriguez (above) and Marc Lore. 

It’s been almost three years since Rodriguez and Lore agreed to a deal that was intended to eventually make them majority owners. (That deal valued the franchise, along with the WNBA’s Lynx, at $1.5 billion.) Last month, Taylor said that the pair, who together own 40% of the T-Wolves and Lynx, missed a deadline to make a payment. But Rodriguez and Lore dispute that claim—and NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league has no plans to get involved. So, the saga is headed to court.

All Eyes on the Courtside Seats

Last Friday, Taylor, Rodriguez, and Lore were all spotted at Minnesota’s Target Center for the Timberwolves’ penultimate game of the regular season. On Thursday afternoon, a team spokesperson told Front Office Sports they did not have confirmation of any of the trio’s plans to attend Saturday’s game. Game 1 could have been a landmark moment to celebrate the team’s success and the start of a new era for the organization. Now, it’s all a bit muddy.

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