NBA: Timberwolves to add Chinese part-owner, says report

Karl-Anthony Towns (left) of the Minnesota Timberwolves is congratulated by Ricky Rubio after he made a basket against the Golden State Warriors on April 5, 2016.
Karl-Anthony Towns (left) of the Minnesota Timberwolves is congratulated by Ricky Rubio after he made a basket against the Golden State Warriors on April 5, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor will bring in the National Basketball Association's first part-owner from China in a deal to add two new investors to his ownership group, ESPN reported Monday.

Citing unnamed sources, ESPN said the deal will allow Taylor to remain the club's controlling owner.

Last week, he closed a deal to bring in Jiang Lizhang, a Shanghai-based businessman who founded the Chinese marketing company Double-Edge Sports.

Jiang has worked with the NBA in China, ESPN reported.

He is thought to have purchased 5 per cent of the Timberwolves and another 5 per cent of their sister WNBA franchise the Minnesota Lynx.

Taylor has also sold a share of the team to New York-based real estate magnate Meyer Orbach.

He said last year that he planned to sell 30 per cent of the team to Steve Kaplan, a minority owner with the Memphis Grizzlies, however, that deal fell through.