Nuggets' Western Conference rival facing turmoil amidst front office controversy

Ashley Moyer-Gleich
Ashley Moyer-Gleich / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The NBA playoff races are reaching a boiling point, especially at the top of the Western Conference. The Denver Nuggets are locked in a three way battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves for the one seed with only a handful of games remaining in the regular season.

There is no shortage of drama and excitement on the court, but one of the teams is now facing a major distraction off the court; the T-Wolves and the battle for their ownership. Professional sports franchises changing hands is always a big deal, but it’s usually a bunch of boring legalese, negotiations, and ultimately giant sums of money that are almost incomprehensible to normal people.

Minnesota Timberwolves sale

But the sale in Minnesota has become something out of a gossip tabloid. Back in 2021, longtime owner Glen Taylor agreed to sell the franchise (along with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx) to a group led by entrepreneur Marc Lore and former Major League Baseball star, Alex Rodriguez.

At the time, the sale price agreed upon was $1.5 billion, which the new owners would pay in increments at designated times over the coming years. The sale was supposed to be finalized on March 27th of this season, but Taylor instead announced that the team is no longer for sale.

What now?

It’s not entirely clear what happened to derail things, but it has now become a messy public case of he-said, she-said. Taylor claims that Lore and Rodriguez missed their payment deadline, failing to hold up their end of the bargain, so the deal is off.

Rodriguez and Lore say that isn’t true, that they are blindsided by Taylor and that he essentially has seller’s remorse now that the team is playing well and the franchise is valued at a much higher number.

Shams Charania and John Krawczynski of the Athletic relayed the story in great detail in an article which I highly recommend. It’s a fascinating read, and an excellent glimpse inside the mind of billionaires and NBA owners alike.

This story is far from over, as Lore and Rodriguez have dug in their heels and are willing to fight this one out. While Taylor has gone back to running the team as if none of this ever happened. This is likely headed for the courts and could get extremely juicy and messy.

The losers in all of this are likely the fans of the T-Wolves. They’ve been an uninspiring franchise for so long, and things are finally going well lately. And now this dark cloud hangs over everything. The timing also isn’t great with the playoffs rapidly approaching. Only time will tell if this bubbles over and becomes a distraction to the players, but it certainly doesn’t seem ideal.