Browns owner Jimmy Haslam looking to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves

Oct 28, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns vice president Andrew Berry (L) talks with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (R) on the bench before the Browns play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Billionaire Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has put his NBA franchise on the market. It’s not necessarily too much of a surprse given the team’s lack of success under Taylor.

We’d also be hard-pressed to find a Wolves fan in the Twin Cities who is upset with this. Since purchasing the team from then-owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner for an estimated $88 million back in 1994, The Wolves have earned nine playoff appearances. That includes one trip to the postseason since the end of the 2003-04 campaign.

We’re now hearing some rumors about a potential buyer, and it likely won’t make Wolves fans feel all warm inside heading into the fall.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam looking to buy the Timberwolves

“Haslam is seeking to become one of a handful of people who own multiple teams in the major U.S. sports leagues, joining, among others, Stan Kroenke (Rams, Nuggets, Avalanche), Ted Leonsis (Wizards, Capitals), Terry Pegula (Bills, Sabres), Jim Dolan (Knicks, New York Rangers) and Jerry Reinsdorf (Bulls, White Sox),” Scott Soshnick of Sportico reported on Thursday.

The Straus Group, led by InnovaCare Health chairman Daniel Straus, had previously entered into exclusive conversations to purchase the Wolves from Mr. Taylor. However, nothing came to fruition on that end before the expiration of those talks. Meanwhile, Wolves legend Kevin Garnett has joined a group of investors interested in purchasing the NBA franchise.

Haslam, 66, officially took control of the Browns seven games into the 2012 season. Since then, the team has posted an NFL-worst 21-75-1 record. The billionaire is the current CEO of Pilot Flying J, which his father founded in 1958. Said tenure atop that corporation has not come without drama. While he wasn’t charged, multiple top executives were indicted on multi-million dollar fraud charges back in 2018.

Minnesota Timberwolves asking price

It was noted earlier this summer that Mr. Taylor is looking for at least $1.2 billion in bids from potential buyers. In their latest estimates, Forbes values the Wolves at $1.38 billion — the fourth-lowest figure in the NBA.

Sure Taylor would turn a major profit by selling the team for that price. But the Timberwolves have not been on an upward trajectory as it relates to team values compared to other franchises around the Association.

For his part, Mr. Haslam is said to be worth $2.9 billion. He obviously has the means to purchase the Timberwolves. Whether the NBA Board of Governors would approve a potential deal remains to be seen.

Under the leadership of Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA continues to seek out minority owners. Add in Haslam’s lack of success as the Browns’ owner and the above-mentioned legal issues at Pilot Flying J, and that’s magnified further.

There’s also somewhat of an issue as it relates to cross ownership in the sports world. As noted above, we’ve seen individuals own teams in multiple sports leagues. However, that’s an exception to the rule. It could come to the forefront should Haslam’s bid to buy the Wolves picks up steam.