THE Minnesota Timberwolves are for sale, and franchise icon Kevin Garnett is part of a group of investors that is “seriously interested” in buying the team, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Sportico reported owner Glen Taylor had retained the Raine Group to sell the franchise, adding that several parties have bid on the team.
Taylor confirmed to The Athletic that he has received inquiries, including from groups who want to relocate the franchise, which is a nonstarter.
“People have inquired who are interested, but they want to move the team,” Taylor told The Athletic, adding that the WNBA’s Lynx would likely be included in any deal. “They are not a candidate. We’ve made that very clear. … Everybody’s been told it has to stay in Minnesota.”
Taylor, 79, bought the franchise in 1994 for just under $90 million and has sold off a few minority stakes in recent years. Sportico reported he is seeking at least $1.2 billion to sell the team and that a deal could be reached within a month.
Forbes pegged the franchise’s value at $1.38 billion. Taylor has a net worth of around $3 billion.
In a separate report, The Athletic detailed Garnett’s interest, saying his group is preparing a bid to submit to Taylor.
Garnett, 44, said in December 2017 that he would like to own part of the team he played for from 1995-2007 and in 2014-15 and 2015-16, but only if Taylor were to sell his stake, after the two had a falling out. According to Garnett, Taylor backed out of an arrangement with former coach Flip Saunders — in which Garnett would join the team’s front office and/or ownership group following retirement — after Saunders’ death in 2015.
In April, Garnett told The Athletic, “At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes.
“I don’t do business with snake (expletive). I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.”
Garnett was named for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame this spring, and he’ll be officially enshrined when the postponed event happens in 2021.
A 15-time All-Star, Garnett earned 10 of those selections while with the Wolves and drew MVP honors after the 2003-04 season. He averaged 19.8 points, 11 rebounds and 4.3 assists during 14 seasons in Minnesota, and 17.8 points, 10 rebounds and 3.7 assists for his career.
Garnett played for the Boston Celtics from 2007-08 to 2012-13, winning his lone championship ring in 2008. He also spent 2013-14 and part of the 2014-15 season with the Brooklyn Nets.
Meanwhile, the National Basketball Association moved up its draft lottery by five days next month, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
The lottery will now be held Aug. 20 instead of Aug. 25, per reports. The draft date has not moved, as it still will be held Oct. 16.
While the NBA season’s structure has been overhauled for its return from the coronavirus pandemic, the lottery will essentially be the same, apart from being delayed more than three months.
Eight teams were not included in the restart near Orlando, already putting them in the lottery. The six teams eliminated from the restart will also join the lottery, and odds will then be assigned based on teams’ records in games before the season was paused March 11.
The lottery was originally scheduled for May 19 before being postponed. — Reuters