Jul 22, 2020 - Sports

Glen Taylor is exploring sale of NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves

Illustration of the Minnesota Timberwolves logo with a for sale hanging from the wolf's mouth.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is exploring a potential sale of the NBA team.

The backdrop: This is a bizarre time to be selling a pro sports franchise, given how revenue has been battered by the pandemic and the uncertainty moving forward.

  • What he's saying: Taylor, 79, who saved the Timberwolves from a potential move to New Orleans when he bought the team in 1995, told The Athletic that he will not sell to a group that wants to move out of Minneapolis.

Potential buyers: Suitors include the Wilf family (owners of the Vikings) and real estate mogul Meyer Orbach. Franchise legend Kevin Garnett also said he's forming a group to try to buy the team.

Reproduced from Forbes; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from Forbes; Chart: Axios Visuals

The bottom line: Recent sales of big market teams like the Nets (purchased for $2.35 billion), Rockets ($2.2 billion) and Clippers ($2 billion) have pushed the average NBA franchise value to more than $2 billion, up 476% since 2010.

  • Minnesota is near the bottom of the pack with a value of $1.38 billion, per Forbes (third-lowest). Even so, Taylor is set to recognize a massive return, given that he paid just $88 million for the team in 1995.
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