Despite Glen Taylor saying otherwise, there are reports that say the deal to sell the Timberwolves and Lynx does not include any language that would prevent Mark Lore and Alex Rodriguez from relocating the franchises.
The revelation comes via a lawsuit filed against Taylor by minority stakeholder Meyer Orbach, whose lawsuit demands that he be allowed to sell his more than 17% share of the franchises before Taylor consummates a sale, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
But while the lawsuit could throw a wrench in the sale process, the bigger story for fans of the Timberwolves and Lynx is that Wojnarowski says there is nothing in the contract that would prevent Lore and Rodriguez from moving them out of Minnesota. From Wojnarowski:
"Despite Taylor’s public statements to the contrary, he has included no provision in the $1.5 billion sales agreement with Lore and Rodriguez that requires the new ownership group to keep the franchise in Minnesota upon taking control of the team, according to an exhibit in the complaint.
"In fact, new details of Taylor’s sale agreement with Lore and Rodriguez — expected to be completed by July 1 — include a clause under 'Governance Matters' that lists several actions that would require new ownership to 'present to the Advisory Board for discussion' — including any plan to 'relocate the team outside of the Twin Cities market.'
"According to an exhibit in the complaint, the agreement between Taylor and the Lore-Rodriguez group acknowledges that the 'Advisory Board is advisory only … and no action … requires the approval, in any form, by the Advisory Board to be effective.'”
In response, a statement issued by Taylor said the intention is for the Wolves and Lynx to remain in Minnesota.
Lore and Rodgriguez, the former MLB All-Star who played for the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees, are purchasing the NBA and WNBA franchises from Taylor for an estimated $1.5 billion. The deal is expected to be finalized by July 1, though Taylor will continue to run the franchises until he passes the baton to the new owners in 2023.
Since debuting as an NBA franchise in 1989 the Timberwolves own the worst winning percentage of all 30 teams in the league, having lost 1,548 of 2,548 regular-season games.