Woj Drops Update on Timberwolves ‘Ownership War’ During Loaded NBA Countdown Segment

Alex Rodriguez Glen Taylor Marc Lore Minnesota Timberwolves
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of smoke blowing around ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ first-round matchup against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Playoffs. While the Timberwolves players are preparing for the biggest series of their lives, there’s an ownership battle war waging on at the executive level.

Timberwolves Woj bombs and reckless Stephen A. Smith speculation on NBA Countdown

Or, in the exact words of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (NBA Countdown): “there’s an ownership war taking place in Minnesota”. But that’s not the only thing happening in the clip below. Woj also speculates over how different the Wolves’ roster could look next year, if this series doesn’t go how we all hope. He even throws in a random mention on how Tim Connelly specifically built the Wolves to beat the Nuggets team he built out west.

All that in one short Woj hit. But that’s not all (infomercial voice). Stephen A. Smith, it turns out, has some WILD theories regarding how Glen Taylor ends the entire dispute, eventually. And there’s a bunch of Anthony Edwards love too. Even some Kendrick Perkins hypothesizing a possible KAT benching this series, in order to get past the Suns. All that in a clip that is under 3 minutes. I’ll break it down a bit below.

“There’s an ownership war going on in Minnesota and I’m told in approximately two weeks there will be a mediation session, process between Glen Taylor, the current majority owner, and then Alex Rodriguez, Marc Lore, who were in the process of buying the team until Glen Taylor stopped it and now wants to keep it.

Woj on Minnesota Timberwolves’ ownership

There’s a lot to unpack here, in this video but we have you covered. As Woj mentioned, Lore and A-Rod are still all in on buying the Timberwolves. They firmly believe the legal process will show Glen Taylor is being unreasonable. Yet, that’s not what the rest of the league is focused on.

Other league execs are curious to see whether Tim Connelly will be forced to break up the team’s core. One possibility is trading KAT, who’s due to have a cap hit of roughly $49.3 million next season. Another possibility is trading a potential All-NBA defender in Jaden McDaniels, whose five-year, $131 million contract kicks in next season. He holds a cap hit of $22.5 million.

“The rest of the league, what they’re watching with Minnesota here in the playoffs is if this team struggles, if they don’t advance, this is a team and really one of the smallest markets in the league and least revenue producing markets is going to have the fourth highest payroll in the NBA next year. Does that jar loose a Karl-Anthony Towns, a Jaden McDaniels? Those are the questions teams around the league are watching. “

Related: How do Timberwolves Eliminate Suns from NBA Playoffs?

But again, as Woj mentions, Connelly didn’t trade for Gobert and pay McDaniels just to break up this team. In fact, he believes Tim built the roster specifically as one of the only Western Conference squads that has a chance, over the next 5 years, vs the team he built in Denver. But, depending on how this series shakes out, that vision might not matter.

“Tim Connelly built this team in Minnesota. Made the Rudy Gobert trade. He wanted to have three of the top 20 players in the world under contract. See how it worked together and wanted to have the size to beat the team he built in Denver. We’ll find out a lot about this roster construction here in the postseason.”

Stephen A. Smith is Laughing at Timberwolves’ Ownership

marc lore alex rodriguez Minnesota Timberwolves
Photo: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves may have a strong product on the court, but ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks what’s happening upstairs at the executive level is a joke. And he suggests Glen Taylor is having seller’s remorse after seeing just how good these young Timberwolves have quickly become.

“Woj is right on the money. Listen, I find the ownership situation in Minnesota laughable, only from this perspective. Glen Taylor, when you agreed to sell the team for $1.5 billion, all right, you got the three payments of about 60%, two of the payments are in, they ain’t walking way for $600 million that they’ve already given to Glen Taylor.”

“He just wants to stick around because he think Minnesota go make a run, you know what I’m sayin? The second the season is over then the sale will go through. That’s how I view it. But in the end, what it comes down to is that they’re anticipating they’re going to make a long run. And it all it’s all negated. If Phoenix ends up smoking them in the first round.”

Stephen A. Smith on Timberwolves

Related: Marc Lore Eyeing Timberwolves Majority Stake & Making Moves in High-Up NBA Places

It’s hard to imagine Taylor ripping apart the organization just before the biggest playoff appearance in the last 20 years, just to make sure he keeps majority ownership until the run is over. But… Stephen A. makes a good point, in that the Timberwolves’ value has only risen sharply since Taylor originally agreed to sell.

It would be hard not to live with some level of regret. And I know a few people who would absolutely believe Glen Taylor would choose his own interests over the good of the Timberwolves organization, even at this scale.

But the last part is interesting too, as Kendrick Perkins takes the mic. Perk points out how crucial Anthony Edwards is to the rising value of the Minnesota Timberwolves: “It just shows you how powerful Anthony Edwards is.”.

Everyone on set agreed, including Michael Wilbon: “When you have the star young player that they have in Anthony Edwards, it’s gonna elevate even more. It’s gonna elevate even more.” And They’re right, which is why Ant is gonna start make the big bucks when his extension kicks in next season.

Perk also slips in an intriguing theory that the Wolves could bench Towns, in order to get passed the Suns, even if they need him to beat Denver down the road. Interesting

“That’s why Karl Anthony Towns, they might have to go small to stop the Phoenix Suns and a Grayson Allen from knocking down threes.

Kendrick Perkins

Related: Timberwolves Open NBA Playoffs as 3-Seed Underdogs vs Nightmare Matchup Suns

NBA experts all agree, Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ stock is only set to rise, but first, they need to take care of business against the Phoenix Suns.

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