Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez and tech mogul Marc Lore have reportedly reached an agreement with Glen Taylor on the $1.5 billion sale of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.
A person with knowledge of the negotiation confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because NBA league approval was still pending and neither side had publicly announced an agreement.
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The Minneapolis Star Tribune has also reported that Timberwolves owner Taylor, 80, has an agreement on the sale of the NBA team and the WNBA's Lynx.
The Star Tribune reported that Rodriguez and Lore are 50-50 partners in the deal, which would have to be approved by the NBA's Board of Governors.
Taylor has said that any deal to sell the team would include a commitment to keep the club in Minnesota.
ESPN reported that Taylor, who bought the club in 1994 for $88 million to prevent them from moving to New Orleans, has said he intends to continue to run the club for two more seasons, eventually handing over full control in 2023.
“They’ve asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made," Taylor said in an interview last month.
"I would enjoy that. I love teaching people.
"These are a couple of very bright guys, and I think it could be helpful to the club and I think I could be helpful to them so that they feel confident once they take over 100 per cent."
It would make the Timberwolves the second NBA franchise to be sold this season, after Gail Miller and her family struck an agreement in October to sell the Utah Jazz to Ryan Smith.
Rodriguez and Lore's failed bid to buy New York Mets
Rodriguez and Lore tried to buy the New York Mets last year but were beaten out for the Major League Baseball club by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.
The pair first approached Taylor about the Timberwolves last month and met with him and his wife at their winter home in Naples, Florida.
Taylor has engaged in sale talks with numerous suitors over the years but taken a deliberate approach to finding a buyer he’s comfortable with.
He said previously that his initial meeting with Lore and Rodriguez went “terrifically well.”
Lore became Walmart’s e-commerce chief in 2016, when the retail giant bought his Jet.com startup in an attempt to boost online business.
Lore notified Walmart on January 31 of his intent to leave the company and will continue to serve in a consulting role as a strategic adviser through September.
The 45-year-old Rodriguez hit 696 home runs over 22 major league seasons with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.
His last season on the field was 2016, marking the end of marvellous career that was tainted by performance-enhancing drug use he later admitted to.
Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating MLB policy.
He has been in the news a lot recently after his high-profile split with pop mega-star Jennifer Lopez.
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