Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is negotiating to sell about 20 percent of the team to a group led by one of the Memphis Grizzlies’ minority partners, Yahoo!Sports reported Thursday evening.
The report characterized the talks with a group led by Los Angeles private equity investor Steve Kaplan as “serious” and said the group’s intention is to buy majority interest when Taylor decides to sell the team sometime in the future.
A league source said that Kaplan and Taylor have been friendly for years. Kaplan led a group that unsuccessfully tried to buy the Atlanta Hawks in 2014.
Taylor declined to comment as he left the Wolves’ 129-116 loss to Golden State on Thursday night at Target Center, accompanied by a security detail.
Taylor explored selling the team in 2012, but at the time longtime friend and former Wolves coach Flip Saunders eventually convinced Taylor to keep the team for the long term, taking Saunders on as a minority partner. Taylor hired Saunders to replace fired David Kahn as the team’s president of basketball operations, with the intent Taylor would retain ownership and the two men would rebuild the team together.
Taylor has said repeatedly he does not intend to sell majority interest in the team for the foreseeable future.
Wolves star Kevin Garnett has expressed interest in owning the team after his playing days are over. He said so the day he was reintroduced as a Timberwolf last February after he was acquired in a trade with Brooklyn and reiterated it was the “plan” before training camp started.
Rubio out again
Garnett started Thursday after he rested Tuesday on the second night of back-to-back games and Ricky Rubio did not play for a second consecutive game because of what the team terms a mild left hamstring strain.
“I mean, it’s sore,” Rubio said. “It feels real weird.”
Andrew Wiggins did start Thursday’s game and scored 19 points in 35 minutes after he missed Tuesday’s home loss to Charlotte because of a sore knee.
To play or …?
The Wolves play the season’s second set of back-to-back games when they follow Thursday’s game by playing at Indiana on Friday. Wolves interim coach Sam Mitchell played Garnett 18 minutes Monday at Atlanta and rested him for Tuesday’s home loss to Charlotte.
Asked if that’s the plan going forth or if each set of games is a separate decision, Garnett said: “I don’t know, you have to talk to Sam. I don’t get into that. We have a game plan where we take it one game at a time and that’s what it is.”
• Rubio and injured center Nikola Pekovic were the Wolves’ two inactive players.
• Wiggins on Thursday’s giveaway of his bobblehead doll: “They got the hair down.”
• Play-by-play guy Marv Albert, analyst Brent Barry and sideline reporter David Aldridge worked the game, the Wolves’ only scheduled TNT appearance this year.
• Barry on Wolves rookie center Karl-Anthony Towns’ Sunday night visit to the NBA TV studio while the team was in Atlanta: “What a great kid, what a phenomenal, impressive young man. I hadn’t had the chance to chat with him before. That guy is a godsend. Awesome.”