JUNE 1 UPDATE
Is there a better buzz word than buzz? The Pioneer Press published a story that makes it sound like the Timberwolves could be on the move.
“There’s buzz now that Kevin Garnett, who is said to be worth more than $200 million, will be heavily involved in the Timberwolves basketball department if he joins franchise investors Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore if/when they gain full control in 2023. The word is Garnett, the ex-Timberwolf, wants the franchise to remain in Minnesota but Rodriguez wants to move it to Seattle, where he played for seven seasons.”
Who the hell knows what buzz means. But it would be pretty counterintuitive to bring on Kevin Garnett, the most notable player in Timberwolves history, and then move the team to Seattle. Why would Garnett even agree to join the team, just to help move them out of Minnesota?
But it does make sense that Rodriguez would rather have the team in Seattle (or Vegas) than Minnesota. For what relocation to Seattle would mean for Vegas’ shot at an NBA team, below is the story from last month.
The Timberwolves have not been officially sold. But Glen Taylor has agreed to sell his majority stake to a group led by Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez.
Back in April, Taylor tried to ease concerns about the Timberwolves moving out of Minnesota after the sale to Lore and Rodriguez.
“They will keep the team here, yes. We will put it in the agreement,” Taylor told the Star Tribune. “At this point we have a letter of intent, but when we make up the contract we’ll put that in there. That’s no problem. That won’t be a problem.”
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, there is no such clause in the sale agreement. A minority owner of the team has filed a complaint that Taylor did not honor an agreement that would allow minority owners to sell their stake before Taylor sold his majority stake.
In the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, there is no clause stating the Lore and Rodriguez group have to keep the team in Minnesota.
That would open the door for relocation.
Las Vegas would likely be a top candidate for a relocation team, given the constant rumors about an expansion franchise moving to town. So any NBA team on the move, could lead to the NBA in Vegas.
But relocation could also put an end to expansion. Seattle is the city driving expansion, with Las Vegas tagging along. If he Timberwolves moved to Seattle, the NBA might lack motivation to expand and leave Las Vegas behind.
The NBA’s potential expansion does come with financial benefits. If Adam Silver gets his way any new NBA team will have to pay $2.5 billion or more to enter the league. That cash would go directly to the other 30 owners.
NBA teams have not seen a drop in revenue due to the pandemic, making the NBA more motivated to expand in order to make some quick cash.
If that is the case, relocation can do no harm to Las Vegas’ chances at landing an NBA team.