The Minnesota Timberwolves could sell for more than a billion dollars


Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, passes the ball before the game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs on November 15, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Hannah Foslien | Getty Images


So one member of the team’s front office described the Minnesota Timberwolves, the National Basketball Association’s latest franchise that has bottomed out and now has the lowest percentage of wins in major sports.

The Timberwolves entered the NBA in 1989 $ 32.5 million and sold in 1994 to Glen Taylor for approximately $ 90 million. This so-called puzzle is now worth over a billion dollars in 2021 and is reportedly for sale.

Parts include Taylor who clashes with longtime franchise star Kevin Garnett, CEO Gerson Rosas, who is wrapped up in his public relations issue after an unusual job. And the Timberwolves list, the main business attraction, is another confusing piece and could be on the verge of another makeover.

One big puzzle.

“Everything is mixed up,” an office member said when asked about the team, adding that the roster “is trying to play in a way they don’t have a list for.”

The individual agreed to speak to CNBC on condition of anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak publicly about the affairs of another NBA club.

Silver intervened

But NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke publicly about the Timberwolves before the All-Star game last weekend in 2021. In 1994, Silver, then chief of staff to former NBA commissioner David Stern, was able to sign Taylor’s contract to handle the purchase of the club.

The league prevented legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum from buying the team for $ 152 million and possibly moving him to New Orleans. Taylor, a former senator from the state of Minnesota, jumped in to save the team.

“This is a resource from Minnesota. I was afraid he would leave the state, so I got involved,” Taylor said in 1994, according to Post Bulletin.

But since entering the NBA, the Timberwolves have only 988 wins and over 1,500 losses. Earlier this month, he overtook the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst victory percentage for the major American sports team. Of the gains, 883 were annexed to Taylor’s property. And Garnett helped Taylor achieve 501 victories since his rule of the team, which began in 1995.

The two have broken off the relationship, followed by another blow Garnett’s plans buy team failed. He used Instagram to announce his retirement as a customer, taking a look at the possible ones Franchises in Seattle and Las Vegas.

Taylor said Garnett never made an offer and told locals media o 10 groups have made offers. Silver said he was “stunned to have read it back and forth” between the two and would use this as an “opportunity to get directly involved”.

One sports banker familiar with the offers for the team suggested that Taylor could get about $ 1.3 billion for the club in the Covid-19 market. But whether he is serious about selling the team is another question.

“He’s had a few conversations with groups about a potential franchise purchase and I think Glen has been fumbling for years,” Silver said. “I think he both loves owning the Timberwolves and being part of the league, and at the same time, he’s kind of looking to the future and trying to be responsible for his family and community in terms of next-generation ownership.”

The Timberwolves declined to comment.

Head coach, Chris Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to his team during a game against the Charlotte Hornets on March 3, 2021 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

David Sherman National Basketball Association Getty Images

Image troubleshooting

The club generates about $ 200 million in annual revenue, according to Forbes, which also values ​​the team at $ 1.4 billion. The team has a local TV rights agreement with the Sinclair Broadcast Group and is commended for it reaching out to the community initiatives, especially after the death of George Floyd.

But Taylor’s team has other image issues that need to be addressed.

Saunders, the beloved son of Flip Saunders, was popular in the organization. His father coached the Timberwolves to the top 58 franchises in the 2003-04 season with Garnett. And NBA chatter suggests that Flip was the one who persuaded Taylor to sell the team in 2013 just before estimates rose sharply.

Roses fired Saunders last month after seven wins this season and hired Toronto assistant coach Chris Finch. Recruitment was abnormal and caused concern for NBA Coaches Association, while Rosas bypassed the Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool, which is popular among rival players and coaches.

The lineup is anchored around double star Karl-Anthony Towns, but NBA scouts point out that Rosas ’vision seems to mimic the Houston Rockets led by Daryl Morey with scorers’ aces, but not enough staff. Some in NBA circles suggest trading cities, who makes money $ 29 million this season and a renewal around rookie Anthony Edwards.

With a star-studded franchise star shooting, a front office crash and list problems, the longtime marketing director Tony Ponturo they said corporate sponsors should avoid the Timberwolves.

“Any consumer brand that ties to a sports sponsorship team strives to improve its image and find a way to better connect with its customers in that market,” Ponturo said. “When a team isn’t doing well, and probably a team that hasn’t been doing well for a long time, it could be argued that the image in Minneapolis isn’t that good. So the connection to that is not positive.”

Timberwolves ’marquee property is jersey patch, and the club wants to sell before the 2021-22 season. The region is home to large corporations like Goal i Best Buy, but Ponturo said traders should not overpay to do business with the team, especially with other professional teams in the winning city.

“If that image you’re associating with is negative or damaged, you should probably keep money in your pocket and do something with Vikings or Gemini,” he said. “[Marketers] it is better for them to let them understand and see in a year whether the team has progressed. “

Cody Martin # 11 of the Charlotte Hornets shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 3, 2021 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

David Sherman National Basketball Association Getty Images

A piece of arena

If the buyer encourages Taylor to sell, the new owner will get it Target center as a means.

The arena in the center of the city was massive $ 140 million upgrade to make it more modern. Taylor paid $ 58 million to help cover expenses.

The building he manages ASM Global, is not the most advanced arena, but it admires its “basketball geometry”. It’s a term used among longtime NBA executors and means the stadium was built to watch basketball games.

“It’s not a comfortable building, and entering the building from a fan perspective, there’s no initial wow factor,” said the executive director of one team who asked not to be identified. “But the fact is, it’s basketball geometry, just a better building to watch the game.”

The “spare case” of the Target Center is also commendable – which means that it can easily be turned into other events. But finding a way to maximize revenue one day is a challenge.

Prior to the pandemic, the arena ranked 28th in NBA attendance, according to ESPN. The Timberwolves did not finish close to the top 10 in this category since Season 2003-04 when Garnett led them to the Western Conference finals.

But maybe Silver can help steer the Timberwolves in the right direction or find another owner willing to take the reins like Taylor did in 1994. Asked to summarize the current state of this NBA franchise, the former Timberwolves employee described it as “unfortunate” and missing direction.

“I wouldn’t call it a puzzle,” the employee said. “It’s just been a lot of different leaders in a short period of time, and you change direction every five minutes. You can’t win anything like that. It’s too much inconsistency.”


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