Tampa Bay Times

A-Rod, partner set to buy T’Wolves

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MINNEAPOLI­S — Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore signed a letter of intent Saturday to buy the Timberwolv­es and keep the team in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor said.

The agreement, which also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, opens a 30-day window for negotiatio­ns to be finalized. If accountant­s and attorneys for both sides agree, the deal would then need to be approved by the league.

The reported sale price is $1.5 billion.

Under the conditions of the deal, Taylor would keep control of the club for the next two years and bring on Rodriguez and Lore as partners until a handover in 2023. In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Taylor said their connection went “terrifical­ly well” and that he was “happy” and excited” about what’s to come.

“They’ve asked that I would be there for any decisions that would need to be made,” Taylor said. “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 percent.”

Rodriguez and Lore said in a statement to ESPN: “We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he has built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolv­es organizati­on.”

Taylor, who put the teams on the market last year, said he was first approached by Rodriguez and Lore a week ago. The pair traveled to meet Taylor and his wife at their winter home in Naples. Taylor, who turns 80 on April 20, has spoken with numerous suitors over the years but taken a deliberate approach to finding a buyer he’s comfortabl­e with. He said he’s done that with Rodriguez and Lore.

“I feel confident that

they’ll take care of the franchise and move it ahead,” Taylor said.

Throughout the sale process, Taylor told interested parties that keeping the franchises in Minneapoli­s was a prerequisi­te for purchase.

Rodriguez was the headliner in a group that tried to purchase the Mets last year before dropping out. Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen bought the club instead. LAKERS TOP NETS: Andre Drummond had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Dennis Schroder scored 19 points before he and Kyrie Irving were ejected in the third quarter, and the Lakers beat the host Nets 126-101.

A nationally televised matchup already missing plenty of star power lost even more when Irving started jawing with Schroder and neither player stopped quickly enough for the officials.

The Lakers had led most of the way and were ahead 66-62 when Irving fouled Schroder with 9:41 left in the third quarter. Los Angeles blew open the game soon after the ejections with a 15-2 burst to take an 88-71 lead.

LeBron James (right ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (right calf strain) remained out for the Lakers. James Harden is sidelined with a strained right hamstring for the Nets.

The Lakers handled being shorthande­d much better, putting eight players in double figures.

The Nets’ Kevin Durant scored 22 in his second game back following a 23-game absence with a hamstring injury. Irving added 18.

Besides James and Davis, who were sitting on the bench, the Lakers were also without Kyle Kuzma (left calf strain), Marc Gasol (left hamstring tightness) and Wesley Matthews (right Achilles tendon tightness).

The Lakers have fallen to fifth in the Western Conference during James’ 11-game absence, while the Nets entered play leading the Eastern Conference.

 ?? COREY SIPKIN | Associated Press ?? FEELING REJECTED: Nets guard Chris Chiozza is blocked by Lakers center Montrezl Harrell during the second half of Los Angeles’ 126-101 win Saturday night.
COREY SIPKIN | Associated Press FEELING REJECTED: Nets guard Chris Chiozza is blocked by Lakers center Montrezl Harrell during the second half of Los Angeles’ 126-101 win Saturday night.

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