11.23.2015

Saunders and Garnett had Plans to Buy Wolves from Glen Taylor



February 20, 2015

The contract extension Kevin Garnett, 38, will sign with the Timberwolves this summer will be for two years. During that period, Garnett and Wolves president-coach Flip Saunders are expected to try to form a group to buy the team from Glen Taylor.

Garnett has amassed more than $325 million in salaries during 20 seasons in the NBA. Saunders, who turns 60 on Monday, has made an estimated $40 million during 17 seasons as a NBA coach.

The Wolves, for whom Taylor paid $88 million in 1994, were valued at $625 million last January by Forbes. Taylor, who turns 74 in April, is amenable to taking in more limited partners. But he's not interested in selling his team until he finds out what the Atlanta Hawks, who are for sale and currently are taking bids, end up going for.

It's clear, though, considering the NBA's new $24 billion, nine-year media rights deal that begins next year, that Garnett and Saunders will need considerably more wherewithal to buy the Wolves.

Taylor doesn't know what his team will be worth then, but it will be a lot more than it is now.

Meanwhile, word is Garnett has matured since his days in Minnesota, where he was paid nearly $200 million by Taylor and in his final days with the Wolves seemed unappreciative. If Garnett, who is being paid $12 million this season, has indeed grown up, he and Taylor could improve a relationship that once became strained. Money talks.

As for Saunders returning to coach the Wolves next season, Taylor and Saunders still haven't talked about that scenario. But the Wolves owner is open to either possibility.

It will be interesting to see whether the Garnett acquisition, which could translate into more victories, adversely affects the Wolves' chances in June's NBA draft lottery.

Resuming play after the all-star break last week, the Wolves' odds of winning this season's NBA championship were 10,000 to 1, according to MyTopSportsbooks.com .

Former Wolves coach Dwane Casey of Toronto was 15-to-1 odds to win NBA coach of the year. Minnesota native David Joerger, who Saunders tried to pry from Memphis last summer, also is 15-to-1.

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