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Alex Rodriguez has seemingly hit a buzzer-beater in his bid to buy the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves despite some skepticism that he would come up with the money by this month’s deadline, The Post has learned.
The former Yankees slugger and his billionaire business partner Marc Lore need to fork over a roughly $250 million payment due on March 28 to increase their stake to 40% as part of the $1.5 billion deal.
“The money is in the bank and ready to be funded today,” a spokesman for A-Rod and Lore told The Post on Tuesday night.
The apparent bank shot comes after some in the sports industry questioned whether their bid to take control of the team would come up short.
A-Rod and Lore spoke to at least one potential investor about selling a stake in the team recently at a $3 billion valuation — pointing to the recent sale of the Phoenix Suns for $4 billion, a source close to the situation said.
“It is a ridiculous pitch,” said the source, who believes the T-Wolves’ value has risen from the initial $1.5 billion after the Suns’ sale, but not by that much.
The pair ponied up roughly $250 million in July 2021 for a 20% stake in the team as part of a three-step plan that gave them the right to increase their stake to 40% by March 28.
If they miss this next payment, current owner Glen Taylor would be able to scrap the deal, sources close to the situation said.
Now, they have until March 28, 2024, to buy the remaining 40% to secure majority ownership of the struggling franchise.
Taylor, who plans on keeping the other 20% if a sale goes through, has the right to nullify the deal if they miss any deadlines and retain them as minority owners.
The Timberwolves did not return calls.
A-Rod had money problems during the first round of payments, The Post reported exclusively.
The pair were supposed to be 50/50 partners, but Lore put up 13% of the money and A-Rod only 7%.
But the two managed to come up with the cash for this round despite taking some recent financial hits.
Lore, a Staten Island-born entrepreneur, has had to scale back his vision for startup food delivery business Wonder.
He was using Mercedes trucks to cook up gourmet meals and bring them to customers, but in recent months, switched to a more traditional brick-and-mortar concept, The Post reported.
Meanwhile, A-Rod announced last month that investors representing 61% of the stock in his blank-check company Slam had redeemed their shares, reducing the value to $224 million.
A-Rod has not reached a deal to buy any company since forming Slam two years ago, giving investors a chance to exit.
The Timberwolves have struggled on the court and financially.
The team may miss the playoffs this season and ranks 27th out of 30 teams in attendance.
Their lease at the Target Center, one of the oldest in the NBA, runs through 2035.
The team also is on the hook for a $41 million annual contract that runs another three years after trading away four first-round draft picks to the Utah Jazz for All-Star Rudy Gobert last summer — a deal approved by A-Rod and Lore.
The increased payroll pushed the franchise into the red, the source close to the situation said, from making around $7.5 million a year to losing $25 million this year.
A-Rod and Lore, who were the runner-ups in 2020 to buy the New York Mets, have thrown themselves into the Timberwolves.
They have attended many T-Wolves games and have taken an active role in making personnel decisions.