The wording of the sale agreement between Taylor and future owners Rodriguez and Lore contrasts with Taylor’s numerous public comments that the sale agreement includes a provision requiring the new group to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota. “They’ll keep the team here, yeah,” Taylor told the Star Tribune (of Minneapolis) April 11 of the Lore and Rodriguez ownership group. “We will include it in the agreement. At this point, we have a letter of intent, but when we write the contract, we’ll put it in there. This is not a problem. It won’t be a problem. “
A few days later, Taylor repeated on WCCO radio in Minneapolis: “We have it in the contract. They signed the contract to do this… ”
Taylor then said: “But let’s just say they were able to break this deal. The real deal is with the NBA. The NBA will make the decision whether someone is going to move or not to move. The NBA will not approve the Timberwolves move. from here to Seattle, it is in the interest of the NBA that in Seattle, a new team is formed.
“It’s an economic decision that is in the best interests of all owners, because if they create a new team there, that team will have to pay maybe $ 2 billion to get started. They pay this to other owners. The current owners won’t pay a billion and a half to leave it in Minnesota and an additional $ 2 billion to get it out of there. It is the assurance that I have not to bring him out of there.
Meyer Orbach, Wolves’ second largest shareholder, filed a lawsuit, saying the ongoing sale was in violation of the franchise’s partnership agreement. The lawsuit cites Taylor’s failure to honor “flanking rights” for minority franchise investors, which allows them to sell their interests in the teams before Taylor sells his.
A vote from the NBA Board of Governors is still required to give Lore and Rodriguez final approval of the sale.